Fallout over Flames - Metro US

Fallout over Flames

With a national microscope affixed squarely on them, Alberta Health Services axed a mid-level manager after H1N1 vaccinations were given last Friday to the Calgary Flames and their families.

The AHS issued a statement yesterday, noting the disciplinary action taken against the “most senior staff member involved” after reports of the Flames receiving the vaccine surfaced Monday.

Roman Cooney, senior vice-president of communication for the AHS, said privacy and legal reasons prevented him from discussing the employee’s specific job, but noted this person had not spoken to his or her superiors about making the vaccine available to the Flames.

“It would not have been approved if it had been discussed at a higher level in the organization,” said Cooney, noting it was against AHS protocol to hand out the vaccine, even though this person had the authority.

“They released the vaccine inappropriately. If they had been following the protocols, yes, that person is in a position to authorize its use.”

Calgary Flames president Ken King told a national audience on yesterday’s QR77’s broadcast of the Charles Adler Show that he scrutinized the process and was assured everything was “above board” with the AHS.

King was apologetic about the situation and that it cost someone his or her job.

“Frankly, I wish this person would have said no to us. Had they, none of this would have existed.”

Farm team also jumps queue

• A Fraser Valley, B.C., doctor may be investigated by the College of Physicians for giving the Abbotsford Heat — the farm team for the Calgary Flames — the H1N1 vaccine, jumping the queue meant for at-risk patients.

Dr. Perry Kendall, B.C.’s health officer, said the team wasn’t given permission to get early access to the shot.

“The vaccine is scarce and we’re trying to focus on people with underlying health conditions,” Kendall said.

Kristen Thompson/ Metro canada

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