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Ann Rastin took her 88-year-old mom to a Newmarket arena last Tuesday for what was supposed to be her second Pfizer vaccine shot.

According to the confirmation email received two days prior from Southlake Regional Hospital, Feiga Libman — a high-risk candidate — was to get her vaccine at 12:20 p.m. on March 16.

But Rastin says once they got there, along with more than 20 other Holocaust survivors, they were informed no second doses would be given, that they’d have to wait another 112 days to get the second shot.

When they protested — especially because the rest of the arena was empty while lots of vaccines sat there for people who hadn’t turned up for the first dose — they were told to wait while officials endeavoured to get the edict changed.

After a two-hour wait, she said, they were all told to go home without the second shot.

“It was a terrible situation the way it was dealt with,” Rastin said, noting that these are elderly people who’d survived abusive and torturous behaviour in the Holocaust.


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“Nobody was helpful,” she added.

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Rastin said she didn’t received any sort of cancellation email prior to last Tuesday’s fiasco.

“It was really sad watching people so very confused,” she said.

So there you have it — the latest screw-up in what has been a decidedly messed up and downright incompetent vaccine rollout by politicians and officials who get paid to lead and should know better at both the federal and provincial levels of government.

It all started with a pronouncement by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, an external body to Public Health Canada, declaring in early March that an “extended four month interval strategy” will allow Canada to provide first doses of “highly efficacious vaccines” to more individuals earlier, which is “expected to increase health equity faster.”

In other words, to save Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s already damaged reputation with respect to the vaccine fiasco, high-risk seniors, who’ve been virtually locked down for a year, will be the sacrificial lambs.

Of course, Premier Doug Ford and his team have gone along with it. But that’s no surprise considering what a terrible job they’ve done protecting seniors in long-term care and retirement homes during the first and second waves of COVID.

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It doesn’t take a medical expert to point out that the vast majority of COVID deaths during the first and second waves occurred in people over 70, with a particular emphasis on those 80 and older.

Recent studies and write-ups sent to me suggest older and vulnerable citizens do not have the responsive immune systems of those much younger and only achieve a solid immunity with two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine

Rastin said since her mom was turned away last week she has spoken to representatives from Pfizer who indicated to her that seniors “should not be waiting.”

Betty Katzman, who will be 80 in nine days, was supposed to get her second shot early next week, together with her 82-year-old husband.

But she has received a cancellation from Humber River Hospital, where they got the first doses on March 3.

She doesn’t blame the hospital, where staff were “terrific.”

Katzman places the blame squarely on Trudeau,

“Trudeau screwed up originally,” she said. “It was a major, major screw-up.”


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