New Glasgow mayor denies jumping to front of flu shot line

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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HALIFAX - The mayor of New Glasgow, N.S., says accusations of him jumping the swine flu queue are untrue.
A New Glasgow resident wrote the Halifax Chronicle Herald on Tuesday to complain that the mayor, other municipal officials, and a junior hockey team went to the front of the line at a clinic last Wednesday in Westville.
Their alleged line-jumping occurred after about 300 people showed up for the first day of vaccinations in Pictou County.
Mayor Barrie MacMillan said Tuesday that he other civic officials and the Pictou County Weeks Crushers junior A hockey team were at the clinic at the invitation of the local health authority.
MacMillan said it was hoped that people seeing them get their shots would encourage others to do the same, but he insisted they waited three hours to receive the vaccine.
"We weren't in and out in any way, shape or form," the mayor said.
The clinic was held before the current restriction that limits vaccinations to children between six months and five years old, pregnant women, First Nations people and health workers was put into place.
Pat Lee, CEO of the Pictou County Health Authority, confirmed it was his idea to have the public officials and the hockey team show up for their shots.
"In the first two weeks of October we were reading polls ... that said two-thirds of Canadians would not take the shot, and getting polls that youth would not take the shot," Lee said.
"It was my invitation, personally, to the mayors and Crushers to get the shot, have their picture taken and use them to profile immunization in the community."
Lee said the recent death of a 13-year-old boy in Toronto increased the public's interest in getting the vaccine.

Organizations: Halifax Chronicle Herald, First Nations, Pictou County Health Authority

Geographic location: New Glasgow, Pictou County, Westville Toronto

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  • Concerned
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Its funny that the mayor says he was in there for 3 hours. I too stood in that line with my child and destinctly remember the Mayor and his Company going in and back out in under an hour.. Ok lets be fair lets say it was an hour for arguments sake.. Is there any reson any of these people do not apologize to the public for this lack of respect after two people in front of my child and I was an elderly lady with a walker that stood with us for more than 4 hours. Shamful that they feel that did nothing wrong here.