'Wait your turn': Union leader upset over COVID-19 vaccination of hospital PR staff
Screenshot of since deleted social media post of non-clinical staff receiving COVID vaccine. (courtesy AM800)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- A public relations employee for Erie Shores Healthcare is under fire for a tweet about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
In a tweet Wednesday morning, which has since been deleted, ESHC public relations director Arms Bumanlag posted a picture of himself receiving the vaccine.
“Everyone should be vaccinated but you got to wait your turn,” said Unifor Local 2458 president Tullio DiPonti. “The people that need the vaccine today is the residents, and the front line workers, people that are hands-on on these residents or patients in the hospitals.”
DiPontini represents healthcare workers like personal support workers who are battling the crisis in long-term care.
“I don't need to answer our members or get calls from our members crying saying how can somebody that's not a front-line worker in the sense of hands-on get the vaccine before I do,” he said. “I go in everyday and have to risk my life.”
In a statement to CTV News, hospital CEO Kristin Kennedy says during phase 1 of its vaccine distribution plan, all front line workers in the hospital who wanted a shot have received it.
“We recently began making the vaccine available to our leadership team and other Hospital staff who enter the Hospital regularly and, because of the pandemic, have had to take on additional responsibilities and now have direct contact with patients and other front line employees that they might not have had previously in their positions at the Hospital,” Kennedy says.
She says since the ESHC is a community hospital their leadership team also directly deals with health care providers and administrators in long-term care homes and other community agencies.
DiPontini called the situation “frustrating” noting a lot of his members who work on the front lines have yet to receive a vaccine.
- With files from CTV Windsor's Sijia Liu