May 4th, 2021

Ford must deliver second dose of vaccine for cancer patients quickly: Armstrong

QUEEN’S PARK – The Ford government must act now to stop the delay of second doses of COVID vaccines for cancer patients in London and across the province, said MPP Teresa Armstrong (London-Fanshawe) during question period Tuesday.

Armstrong shared the stories of cancer patients in London who are being denied their second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine despite being exempt from the four-month provincial wait-time.

“A 69 year-old in my community with a stage 4 pancreatic/liver cancer diagnosis is seeing a decline in his strength since being diagnosed three weeks ago. Despite having a letter from his doctor to get his two vaccine shots within 21 days, he was denied access to his second dose and was told to wait until August,” said Armstrong.

“Barb MacQuarrie, a London resident undergoing cancer treatment, told CBC News that she has had to jump through hoops and still doesn’t have an appointment for her second dose.”

Martine Elias, executive director of Myeloma Canada described the confusion on the ground: “When Ontario came out with these guidelines, no one on the ground knew what they were, and patients were going to their appointments for their first vaccine and were still getting booked (for their second dose) four months later. Now what we’re seeing is that the hospitals are providing recommendations to patients about the second dose, but it’s not happening everywhere, it really depends on where you live.”

Armstrong said the Ford government must resolve the chaos it’s created for cancer patients.

“Will this government work with public health units, pharmacies and vaccine teams to ensure that cancer patients can seamlessly access their second shots now?”