Swine flu report causes investigation
TORONTO -- Ontario health minister Deb Matthews vowed Thursday to investigate whether Toronto's NBA and NHL players jumped the line for the swine flu shot while other groups are being forced to wait as the province's supply dwindles.
Matthews said she shares the outrage sparked by reports that Maple Leafs and Raptors players got the shot even though the province doesn't have enough yet to vaccinate school-age children.
"I don't care who you are, how rich you are, how famous you are," she said. "If you're not in the priority group, get out of the line and let the people who are in the priority groups get their vaccination."
Matthews expects Ontario to run out of the regular H1N1 vaccine at the end of the week due to Ottawa's dramatic supply slowdown.
The province has enough vaccine to immunize 2.2 million people, which is intended only for the estimated 3.4 million Ontarians who fall under the province's high-priority groups, she said.
They include pregnant women, children between 6 months and 5 years of age, people who care for infants and other people who can't get the vaccine, people under the age of 65 with chronic conditions and those living in remote communities. The government wants to add school-age children as a priority group, but Matthews said it doesn't have enough vaccine.
She doesn't yet know how the Maple Leafs and Raptors players got the shot.
A health employee in Alberta was fired after letting the Calgary Flames jump the swine flu shot line.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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