Furor over Flames - Metro US

Furor over Flames

Confusion circulating over who can receive the H1N1 vaccine has begun to clear, though questions on who may have received it under the radar remain unanswered.

Health officials aren’t certain whether any groups outside the Calgary Flames have been secretly vaccinated, they admitted yesterday.

“We’re reasonably certain it hasn’t gone anywhere else privately, but nothing is 100 per cent,” Alberta’s senior medical officer of health Dr. Gerry Predy said when questioned by reporters.

Both he and Dr. Andre Corriveau didn’t learn of the team’s inoculation until reading media reports, the pair confirmed yesterday. Neither doctor condoned the off-grid vaccinations, and apologized for the “regrettable” and “deplorable” incident.

The most senior staff member involved in the scandal was fired yesterday. Health officials have not publicly identified the employee.

“The decision to allow preferential access to the Flames and their families was a serious error in judgment on the part of the staff involved,” AHS president Dr. Stephen Duckett said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Alberta Health Services has been forced to rewrite and relaunch misleading advertising concerning the age of children allowed the vaccine today.

Clinics are open for children who were between six months and under five years of age as of Nov. 1. Proof of age is required.

Officials admit advertising has led some frustrated parents to believe their five-year-olds can receive vaccine under the revamped campaign’s first few days.

Pregnant women can receive the vaccine beginning tomorrow, though no proof of pregnancy is required. Officials claim lines will move faster, and people can wait indoors.

Doctors urged those who haven’t received the vaccine to get it when general public vaccinations begin again, even if they think they’ve already had H1N1.

“When your turn comes, and you’re not sure, get it. It’s not going to hurt you,” Corriveau said.

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