Today, the Province of British Columbia announced that they have temporarily paused the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Front-line workers were recently granted early access to COVID-19 vaccines. As the government has paused the AstraZeneca vaccine, the timeline for early vaccination may be temporarily slowed. We have been assured that front-line workers will be given the Pfizer vaccine in the meantime.
If you have been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine and are worried about your health, please know that the risk of an adverse effect is extremely low. There have been no reported blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, and health authorities do not think we will see any cases in British Columbia. If you received the vaccine more than 20 days ago, there is no further risk.
We know that many UFCW 1518 members will be disappointed that there may be delays in receiving their vaccination. Your union will continue to advocate that you have the strongest layers of protection in the workplace, and we will update you when we know more about any impacts on the early vaccination timeline.
The province also announced new “circuit-breaker” restrictions today. Until April 19, indoor dining has been suspended in restaurants and bars. We know that this restriction will put extra pressure on grocery and retail stores as more people dine at home. That is why we will continue to pressure employers to reinstate Pandemic Premium pay for front-line workers in grocery, retail, and cannabis settings.
UFCW 1518 also continues to call on the public to remain vigilant about COVID-19 and do their part to protect front-line workers by staying home if they feel sick, wearing masks while shopping, and keeping their distance in stores.