With new variants hitting young people, they say it’s time to reprioritize who gets the jab first.
While his coworkers also go sick, he said they weren’t in as critical condition as him.
“I was always cautious. I was always cleaning, wiping things down, making sure people wore a mask but it’s still scary that I got it,” he told Global News from his hospital room.
After around two and half weeks in hospital, Cardinal has finally been given the good news: he’s healthy enough to recover at home by Friday.
“I have a new perspective on life now; it’s like a second chance,” Cardinal said shortly after learning the news. “When COVID’s over I want to hug everybody that wished me well — strangers, everything.”
Cardinal said Saskatchewan’s vaccine rollout based on age does not account for young people like him, who are at risk on the job.
“The virus has changed and mutated, so I believe so should the plans for vaccinations,” he explained.
Nurses’, Teachers’, Workers’ unions calling for more
“We know that we’re up against variants, and we know the working population … are the age group of the variants,” said president Tracy Zambory.
“That’s who’s being attacked by the variants, that’s who’s in our intensive care units.”
The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation is making similar calls. President Patrick Maze said staff are in crowded classrooms with upwards of 30 students almost every day.
“Initially it seemed to only be affecting the elderly,” Maze said. “The variants aren’t so selective so everyone seems to be at risk.”
The organization representing more than 100,000 workers in the province said some changes to workplaces, including allowing employees to call in sick, could help.
“There’s large production plants and things like that where we’ve seen outbreaks continually,” said the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour’s president Lori Johb.
“If there would be rapid testing in these workplaces, perhaps if they had a vaccination clinic for one or two days that could vaccinate a lot of people and make those workplaces safe.”
Johb said many of the federation’s members are scared about going in to work without the vaccine, but at the same time they can’t afford not to work.
However, the province maintains prioritizing vaccination based on age is still the best model.
“The age-based sequence on our base vaccination program is working for us, that’s why we’re leading the country right now,” health minister Paul Merriman told reporters Wednesday.View link »