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Dear Minister Elliot;
I write today as a current board member and former Chair of the AODA Alliance regarding the appalling roll out of covid vaccine clinics in the province of Ontario. The nature of my disability requires medications that greatly suppress my immune system. Additionally, I have Chronic Neutropenia, which means my white blood cells are precariously low - both of these greatly increase my risk of infection, including the Corona Virus.

My family and I have been waiting patiently for my husband, a Regulated Healthcare Professional to receive his vaccine. To date we have attempted to sign up every day since the site went live. However I have not yet been able to secure a vaccine appointment through the COVID booking website. Instead I repeatedly receive the message "You may be eligible to book a vaccine, please call your local public health unit of Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge".

Vaccine Clinics EmptyEmpty Vaccine ClinicsI have spoken to several persons from this unit and have been advised that they are not offering vaccines to Regulated Health Care Professionals. I called the Ontario booking number where I was told that I should call Northumberland Hills Hospital to arrange for a vaccine appointment. When I spoke with the Hospital's Covid Clinic, I was told that they were no longer booking vaccine appointments. When asked where I can go for a vaccine I was told they "don't know and that maybe I should call the media to get some attention to the problem".

Despite being stymied, I continue to check and call nearly everyday. The only outcome is that I am now receiving contradictory information from the booking line and Public Health Ontario. It shouldn't be that hard for persons essential healthcare worker to get a Covid Vaccine. It is deplorable that the Government of Ontario is sitting on over 700,000 vaccines when there are Ontarians waiting for the opportunity to book an appointment.

What is equally deplorable, is that this government has not developed an accessible strategy to immunize the over 1.7 million Ontarian's with disabilities. This despite its responsibility to ensure accessible policy and proceedures as stipulated by the AODA 2005. In fact, this government has gone as far as to develop a triage plan that contravenes the Act and the rights of Ontarians with Disabilities.

Please see attached the letter written by Human Rights Commission of Ontario, Chief Commissioner, Ena Chadha regarding the development of a triage protocol that potentially sacrifices the lives of Ontarian's with disabilities.

As a suggested remedy for this situation I would recommend the following.

First, utilize the existing structure of the Health Care Professionals Regulated bodies or colleges as a way to ensure vaccination for healthcare workers. Each College could disseminate information quickly to their members including booking vaccines.

Second, collaborate with medical Patient Supports programs such as ABBVicare, Trillium, Enliven and specialists such as Oncologists, Rheumatologists and Gastroenterologist etc to communicate and coordinate vaccination appointments for their patients taking immunosuppressant medications.

I can appreciate that this is an enormous task but that does not absolve this government from side stepping its duty to all Ontarians including those of us who live with disabilities.

I look forward to your comments.
Thank you for your time.

Catherine Dunphy
Cobourg Resident

Attachment: Letter from Ena Chadha


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