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No one jumping H1N1 vaccine queue on P.E.I., Currie says

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  • No one jumping H1N1 vaccine queue on P.E.I., Currie says

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD background=images/dash.gif height=1></TD></TR><TR><TD align=right></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=10>Last updated at 12:56 AM on 05/11/09 </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    No one jumping H1N1 vaccine queue on P.E.I., Currie says

    The Guardian

    Nobody is jumping the H1N1 queue in Prince Edward Island, Health Minister Doug Currie says.

    Currie was responding to the controversy in Alberta after Calgary Flames players, management and family members were given their swine flu shots ahead of thousands of other Alberta residents.

    Alberta health officials fired one of their staffers over the decision.

    Currie said nobody has been given special treatment in P.E.I. and that includes the P.E.I. Rocket, the Island?s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team, and provincial cabinet ministers. He said they?ll all have to wait just like everybody else in the province.

    ?Nobody has received any special preference unless they?ve had an underlying chronic health condition,? said Currie.

    ?We haven?t had any requests from any special group or team or individuals or elite clubs or anything to be asked to be given any special preference.?

    The story became public Tuesday, launching a firestorm of criticism toward the Flames and reigniting anger toward Premier Ed Stelmach?s Alberta government for a vaccination rollout that became so overwhelmed officials shut it down Saturday to reorganize.

    In New Brunswick, members of the Moncton Wildcats and the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, which also play in the Quebec league, were also vaccinated ahead of thousands of residents.

    The New Brunswick government has since apologized for putting the hockey players ahead of ordinary residents.
    But it didn?t pay off in the end.

    Two players of the Moncton team tested positive for the swine flu on Tuesday.

    Chief Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said because all the vaccine comes out of a single source, the provincial pharmacy, it is easy to track who is getting the vaccine and who is not. She said they?ve stuck with the guidelines developed by the Public Health Agency to focus on high-risk groups.

    ?Unless someone on a team had an underlying health condition and stood in line, that would be the only way they?ve gotten the vaccine,? said Morrison.

    Prince Edward Island had its own H1N1 controversy when it decided to set aside nearly 400 doses of the vaccine for inmates at jails in Charlottetown and Summerside as well as the Youth Centre in Summerside.

    Inmates have now all been vaccinated but the school vaccination program only gets underway today.

    A similar program in Quebec was scrapped because of public outcry. Corrections officials in Quebec now say convicts will be treated just like everyone else.
    Morrison said last week that inmates are considered a priority group because it is a closed facility and they have underlying health conditions.

    With files by The Canadian Press

    There were 26 Island schools with 10 per cent of the school population reporting influenza-like illness on Wednesday.

    That?s eight in the east, 15 in the west and three French-language schools. Those numbers are down by one school in each of the Island?s three school boards.


    Eliot River Elementary School
    Gulf Shore Consolidated School
    L.M. Montgomery School
    Morell Consolidated School
    Sherwood Elementary School
    Vernon River Consolidated School
    West Kent Elementary School
    Westwood Primary School
    Alberton Elementary School
    Amherst Cove Consolidated School
    Bloomfield Elementary School
    Ellerslie Elementary School
    Elm Street Elementary School
    Greenfield Elementary School
    Hernewood Intermediate School
    M.E. Callaghan Intermediate
    Miscouche Consolidated School
    O?Leary Elementary School (30.1 per cent)
    Parkside Elementary School
    Somerset Consolidated School
    St. Louis Elementary School (51.0 per cent)
    Tignish Elementary School
    Westisle Composite School
    Ecole Pierre-Chiasson
    Ecole Saint-Augustin
    Ecole Francois-Buote

    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela