Canada has been dealing with the coronavirus outbreak and vaccine safety issues.
A lot of Canadians, especially those in remote communities, have been asking what can be done to make sure their loved ones are protected.
So far, there is no easy solution.
“It’s a very complex issue, and we need more data and more information,” said Michelle Fergus, a senior lecturer in the Department of Public Health at the University of Calgary.
Fergus says there’s an obvious role for governments to step in.
But there is a lot of resistance to making vaccines available in communities with low vaccination rates.
Fergus says she has heard from many people who have experienced post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) failures or have had to wait weeks for a vaccine to arrive.
Many are frustrated that they can’t access their children, or have been left out of the conversation when they need help.
That’s understandable, said Fergus.
We are talking about very vulnerable populations, people who may not even be able to get vaccinated for several weeks, and it’s just been really hard to explain,” she said.
One example is a community in the remote eastern Saskatchewan town of Cochrane.
It has a population of just under 400 people.
Cochrane is located in a region that has seen a dramatic increase in cases and deaths.
In recent weeks, Cochrane’s mayor has received a call from a doctor to check on the health of his community.
He says Cochrane is one of the few communities in the area where there is an emergency room where patients have been taken off the list for PEP and the community is in the process of getting on the PEP roll.
The mayor, however, is not optimistic that he will be able access the PES to Cochrane by next week.
Another issue that many in Cochrane have been facing is how to distribute vaccines to communities in remote areas where the health care system is overwhelmed.
A number of communities in northern Ontario are experiencing some of the highest rates of vaccine shortages in Canada, according to a new report.
While there are plans to increase access to vaccines in remote, low-vaccine-need areas, there are also concerns about how that will be done.
There are also fears that some vaccines will be sold on the black market.
Some communities are also concerned about how they will distribute vaccines if a vaccine fails to work in one community.
In rural areas, Fergus said it is important that communities have access to the vaccines, but it is also important to understand the risks and benefits of using the vaccine.
With many communities in Canada struggling to meet their vaccine needs, the government is looking to make vaccines available to those who need them, she said, and to help communities prepare for the worst.