While many people are patiently awaiting their turn to be immunized from COVID-19, Peachland Mayor Cindy Fortin declined an early opportunity for the jab.
Fortin said she received a letter from the province about three weeks ago, offering her a spot earlier than most people in her age cohort.
“I’m anxious to get immunized. It’s not that I don’t want to get it done; I do,” she said. “But to me, I talk to and hear from so many people who are extremely anxious to get immunized. Seniors and people with serious medical conditions who have had to wait their turn.
“I’m actually fine and healthy, so I feel like I can wait until it’s my turn.”
Fortin doesn’t know why she was offered an early shot, but she said it’s not due to her being a local politician or any underlying health issues.
She added that she is in a fortunate situation in that she can do her work at home and away from others, which was why she felt confident enough to decline the early offer.
“I think if I had direct contact with people outside of my home and we didn’t have these restrictions, I’d say ‘Absolutely, I’ll take it now,’” she said.
“But because we’re on these restrictions, I work from home and am careful when I do get to go outside… I would rather someone who had a serious health condition or of a certain age get their shot first.
Fortin said she wants people to know she didn’t refuse the early vaccination offer because she doubts its efficacy.
“I know there have been issues with (AstraZeneca), but at the end of the day, COVID is a lot worse, and the percentage of instances of the blood clot is so low.
“I would encourage everybody to get vaccinated. This is meant to protect you; this is meant to keep you and the people around you safe. So even if you’re not racing out to get it, you gotta think of everyone else and ensure everyone around you is safe as well.”
Across the lake, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran has already received his first dose of the vaccine. He volunteers at Kelowna General Hospital close to several patients and health-care workers.