BC Liberals call for expedited COVID-19 boosters for First Nations and seniors

THE BC Liberals on Monday urged Premier John Horgan and the NDP to immediately provide COVID-19 booster shots to First Nations communities and seniors, many of whom had their second dose more than six months ago.

“As the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll, government needs to ensure that British Columbians remain protected from the virus, but John Horgan and the NDP continue to drag their feet on providing booster shots,” said Shirley Bond, Interim Leader of the Official Opposition. “The government knew booster shots would be required to address waning immunity, and this is particularly vital in First Nations communities and among our vulnerable seniors. Other provinces and territories have been administering booster shots, and we know that supply is not an issue in B.C., so why is the NDP delaying this vital layer of protection?”

The BC Assembly of First Nations, the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, the Lake Babine Nation, and the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council have all called on the Province to immediately begin providing third doses. Many seniors and First Nations people in B.C. received their second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine seven months ago, and yet internal health authority documents suggest boosters will not be provided for some groups until mid-December.

“The government has already faltered on delivering booster shots to seniors in long term care, and now we see the same with First Nations and seniors who live in our communities,” said Peter Milobar, BC Liberal Critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “B.C. is once again falling behind other provinces in delivering third doses to those who need it most. It’s long overdue for this government to step up and provide the clarity, and the immunizations, necessary to keep people safe.”