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West Island politicians call for Ste. Anne veterans to be among first to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Click to play video: 'Calls to prioritize veterans when rolling out Quebec’s COVID-19 vaccination plan' Calls to prioritize veterans when rolling out Quebec’s COVID-19 vaccination plan
WATCH: Some West Island elected officials are asking public health to prioritize the veterans at Ste. Anne's Hospital when it comes to rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine. There are 100 veterans living at the facility, and as Global’s Felicia Parrillo reports, some say vulnerable veterans need to come first in the province's immunization plan – Dec 11, 2020

Ste. Anne’s Hospital has been dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 for over a week.

According to the latest government statistics, there are eight active cases among residents, three who have died, and 13 infected staff.

There are roughly 100 veterans living at the hospital, many of whom are in the pavilion hardest hit by the outbreak.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Ste. Anne’s Hospital dealing with COVID-19 outbreak, health authority confirms

That is why Greg Kelley, West Island MNA, is asking for those vets to be at the top of the vaccination list.

“They served in the Second World War, they served our country, I think they deserve this,” he said. “We’re talking about roughly 100 residents, so I think they should be put on that list.”

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In a letter addressed to Quebec’s health minister, he writes, “the time has now come to save lives by asking public health authorities to consider the possibility of designating veterans as a priority group to receive the vaccine.”

READ MORE: WW2 veteran living at Ste. Anne’s Hospital praises front-line workers, denounces management

The letter is also signed by Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue’s mayor, Paola Hawa.

“The average age of the veterans at Ste. Anne’s Hospital is 92 years old, so really at the top of the list in terms of patients at risk,” she said.

Wolf Solkin, a World War II veteran and head of Ste. Anne’s Patients Committee, said he’s in favour of anything that will help them, but doesn’t want preferential treatment.

READ MORE: Veterans claim victory at Ste. Anne’s Hospital, continue fight for better health care in Quebec

“I think we should be given some priority, but not because we are vets but because we are very, very old and living in long term care residences which are not the best environment for us,” he said.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault told reporters on Friday that Ste. Anne’s Hospital is on his radar.

“We’ll have to look at the situation because what I’ve heard is that there are many cases at the Ste. Anne’s hospital – a bit like in a CHSLD, so we’ll look at that,” he said.

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