It has been reported that some professional hockey players (yes, those big burly manly men who body-check and punch each other out on ice) jumped the queue and received H1N1 flu shots ahead of pregnant women, seniors and others who were waiting patiently in line. In Calgary, the report ignited such an outrage that one staffer in the government's Alberta Health Services was fired.
But wait a minute! Before we jump into the rink to join the mêlée and beat those big guys up, we should give the fellows the benefits of the doubt. Perhaps they, and their team officials, might have misinterpreted the word "expecting" and thought hockey players do belong to the vaccination priority group, along side with expecting mothers. Sure, these professionals expect a lot. They expect, among other things, multi-million dollar contracts, expensive fast cars, woman/girl friends as the case maybe, the right to be traded so they can negotiate for bigger multi-million-dollar contracts, and the list can go on. I am sure they must have misinterpreted the notice - excuse their English. So, what if they don't have a university degree - Bill Gate didn't have one either. Beside, as one of their team spokesman said: Hockey is a contact sport and players exchange bodily fluids during games, along with punches. Ah, I got it. They are at risk, travelling from cities to cities, sacrificing their health to entertain us, the public. In a life-boat scenario, it is obvious who should stay and who should be pushed overboard.
Regardless, it's too late to ask for the vaccine back. Perhaps, the hockey players can give away some free tickets to the public as a compensatory gesture for jumping the queue. Now, don't sneeze at the idea just because you don't have the flu shots.
* CBC Nov 5, 2009: "... Team vaccinations raised questions: No such reasons were given by either the Calgary Flames or the Abbotsford Heat following revelations players on both teams apparently jumped the queue to get swine flu vaccinations last week. An Alberta health official was fired for arranging the shots for the Calgary Flames, and B.C.'s provincial health officer Perry Kendall said health authorities would be investigating the doctor who gave the Abbotsford players the vaccine. "There has been no authorization given by me or any of B.C.'s medical officers or health authorities for any professional sports team to receive early access to H1N1 vaccine. And we don't plan to be giving priority access to professional sports teams or to amateur sports teams either," Kendall said Wednesday. The H1N1 vaccine is currently being offered in B.C. only to people under 65 with a chronic condition, children between six months and five years, pregnant women and some health-care workers, because of a shortage of supply. So far in B.C. 15 deaths have been linked to the virus and more than 360 people have been hospitalized." (Source: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/11/05/bc-chilliwack-bruins-swine-flu-vaccine.html?ref=rss)
* CBC Nov 4, 2009: "... A staff member has been fired after an Alberta Health Services probe into why some members of the Calgary Flames and their families received the H1N1 shot without lining up at public clinics. "Disciplinary action has been taken, resulting in the dismissal today of the most senior staff member involved," said a statement released by the health board on Wednesday. "An investigation is continuing and may result in further disciplinary action." ... " I think it sends the message that this will not be tolerated," said Alberta Health Minister Ron Liepert, adding that he does not know who the dismissed worker is, or why he or she decided to approve the clinic — held on Friday at an unnamed health centre — for the hockey team. ... "The Flames and their doctors requested the vaccination for their members from Alberta Health Services last week based on information available to them at the time, said team president Ken King on Tuesday. "The team would not have chosen to get the shot had they known there would be a vaccine shortage," King added ..."