Thursday was the first-day P.E.I youths between 18 and 29 who work in food and beverage service and food delivery were able to book their vaccine appointments.
The Island’s Chief of nursing Marion Dowling, said those residents are able to book directly with one of the 6 partner pharmacies to receive the AstraZeneza-Oxford vaccine.
She recommends they visit the Island’s website for more information on how best to contact the medical centers closest to where they stay.
Olivia Craig (19), who serves at Hunter’s Ale House in Charlottetown, thought she was months away from getting her COVID-19 dose. However, she managed to book her vaccination for next week.
“At least for the people not vaccinated yet, it’ll give them the comfort of knowing that we all are,” Craig said. “So where their food is coming from, we’re all safe.”
A customer at Hunter’s agreed Thursday. AI Green from Stratford, P.E.I, is additionally eligible for the current vaccine administration. The 75-year-old has planned his first dose but won’t get his vaccine for a couple of weeks.
“They’re meeting anybody and everybody from all over the place,” Green said. “They don’t know where the people came from…. So they might as well have it first.”
The owner of the Red Island Hospitality Group, which runs multiple downturn restaurants and pubs including Hunter’s, said he will have to wait sometime for his dose but thinks it will boost customer confidence knowing most of the servers are vaccinated.
“I feel like when these announcements of restaurant closures and restrictions and the shortened hours, that consumers feel that maybe it’s not the safest place to go to restaurants,” Jeff Sinnott said.
“But maybe now that they know the staff is vaccinated, they’ll feel safer on going into restaurants.”
The Canadian Restaurant Workers Coalition called P.E.I.’s decision to increase the restaurant and delivery staff in the vaccine line is incredible.
“We saw the news and we were actually kind of shocked,” said coalition member Rebecca Gordon.
The national group has been lobbying various levels of governments around the nation to get more backing for restaurant industry workers such as vaccine priority and fair job hours and salaries.
Restaurants are very risky due to the fact that customers have to remove their masks to eat, said Gordon.
She added that they had not been getting enough response from other regions so it was nice to see the Island take the lead.
“Most provinces have decided to just go by age group and as you can see most restaurant workers are younger,” Gordon said.
“So they are likely to be last ones in line to receive a vaccine, even though they are doing risky work.”
Regular rollout goes on
P.E.I’s 75 and older folks are now as well part of the current stage of the vaccine rollout, but they may have to wait a little more to book appointments based on their birth month.
Commencing Thursday, persons 75 and above born between January and April may book appointments. Those born in May to August are asked to start booking next Monday, Mar. 15, and then those born September through December can start booking on Mar. 18.
Islanders are asked to fill an online form or call 1-844-975-3303 seven days a week anytime between 8 A.M and 8 P.M to book their vaccine appointments.