B.C’s Under 18 Grocery Workers Are Seeking Priority Immunization


Grocery store workers in Frazer health and Vancouver Coastal health zones can now be immunized provided they at least 18 years or will turn 18 this year.

This leaves out thousands of other younger workers, includes Eliot, 17, who works for Tsawwassen’s Save-On Food, who are now wondering why they were not included in that immunization program.

Local media agreed not to feature the youngster’s full names as he is not of age yet.

The mother, Vanessa, is also at a loss, not knowing why her son and many others who work at grocery stores do not yet qualify for immunization, which is currently allowed for persons younger than Eliot.

Upon inquiry as to why the younger workers do not qualify, Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, said that there are ongoing discussions on how they can immunize persons aged between 12 and 17 years, and added that presently, they are working on giving the immunization to persons aged 18 and over as they are at a greater risk.

Union reps speaking on behalf of the grocery workers also want the health ministry to get rid of age restrictions.

Charles Pratt, spokesperson for the UFCW stated that the industry has offered first jobs to thousands of youngsters, and they are exposed to the same risky environment as their older counterparts.

Eliot added that it beats logic that older colleagues get vaccinated and he and others his age don’t, even though they work in the same environment.

He said he will continue to work alongside older peers who have received the jab. However, his mother says she won’t stop worrying and will feel a sense of relief once he is vaccinated.


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