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Renfrew County's top doctor frustrated with provincial vaccination rollout

Dr. Robert Cushman says the province is rolling out its plan based on the COVID status in large urban areas, and not simply focusing on seniors.
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Renfrew County's top doctor is frustrated with the Ontario government's rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Renfrew County and District Health Unit's (RCDHU) Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Cushman feels there has been insufficient vaccine supply for Renfrew County, and is taking issue with Ontario rolling out its plan based on the status of the virus in large urban areas, where outbreaks are high, instead of simply focusing on the province's oldest residents in every region.

He believes Ontario is opening up the limited supply of vaccine too quickly, which could leave some seniors without access.

"We really have to concentrate on the senior citizens because otherwise we're going to have too much queue-jumping," Dr. Cushman explains in an interview with CityNews. "The 10,000 doses [Renfrew County expects] in the next three weeks are not going to go to the right people."

The doctor doesn't think the rollout is targeting those who need the COVID-19 vaccine the most.

The doctor says while a social worker in downtown Toronto dealing with homeless people is at risk, a social worker answering the phones in Renfrew County isn't and shouldn't be in the same priority group.

Dr. Cushman adds the province of Quebec has a much better approach in its vaccination rollout -- targeting most vulnerable, seniors first.

He says, while he is 73 and a doctor, he won't be lining up for the COVID-19 vaccine right now, since he not a frontline healthcare worker or in the 75+ age group.

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