VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Teachers, firefighters, and postal workers will be getting vaccinated against COVID-19 next in B.C., but bus drivers, lawyers, and ferry workers are noticeably absent from that priority group.
In December, the union representing Metro Vancouver bus operators were told they’d be part of Phase 2 in the province’s vaccine rollout plan. But that was December, and the plan has been updated at least twice since.
The who's who of who’s next in line for a vaccine does not include bus drivers, BC Ferry workers, or trial lawyers in BC: Tweet @NEWS1130 if you feel you've been an essential worker during this pandemic + remain at risk on the frontlines.
— Ash Kelly (@AshDKelly) March 19, 2021
In January, the province announced that it was putting more of a focus on age when it came to when people would be inoculated. That bumped bus drivers out of the second phase.
Then, on Thursday, March 18, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced hundreds of thousands of frontline workers would be given priority for the next month’s vaccines.
About 320,000 people are among the frontline and vulnerable workers who have been moved up the list to receive the AstraZeneca shot.
They include first responders (police, firefighters, emergency transport), K-12 educational staff, child care staff, grocery store workers, postal workers, bylaw and quarantine officers, manufacturing workers, wholesale/warehousing employees, staff living in congregate housing at places such as ski hills, correctional facilities staff, and cross-border transport staff.
Nowhere in that list are bus drivers included, and it’s not clear if they are to be considered as part of any of these groups.
Teachers have expressed a huge relief, and people in staff housing in Whistler and Big White will be able to breathe easier as well.
But some have taken to Twitter to question where bus drivers fit into the priority list, one person noting “They are more in contact with the public (and in confined space) than some other workers on the priority list.”
Unifor Local 111 has not yet issued a statement on B.C.’s latest update to the vaccine rollout plan. NEWS 1130 has reached out for comment.