Dear Mayor Cobb and Council.
I am in receipt of a news flash, media release from the city of Aug. 20, regarding the updated public health order from provincial health authorities, effective Aug. 21.
The release encourages best health practices to combat COVID-19, but it stops short of mentioning vaccination as an option.
As a city resident I am shocked and dismayed that city council via this release did not include what I suggest is the best health practice to fight the COVID pandemic, as promoted and endorsed by the federal and all provincial governments, and their respective health officers – vaccination.
This pointed lack of encouragement of vaccination against a virus which is once again causing an increase in cases in our health region is even more astounding when one considers that city council is comprised of two health professionals.
An articulate and responsible young man from Williams Lake recently submitted a missive suggesting council’s promotion of the COVID vaccine.
The response was council’s merely forwarding the letter to Interior Health – i.e. preaching to the converted and avoiding any action to contribute to the fight against the pandemic and a stubborn foe, which once again is on the rise in our health region.
I respectfully suggest a reasonable inference from council’s apathetic response to his suggestion, and the lackluster behavior of council regarding the value of vaccination as advised and described repeatedly by provincial and federal health authorities, indicates that council prefers to “sit on the fence” and take no meaningful action to encourage vaccination, and thereby not risk offending a segment of the electorate. This rationale of avoiding action has been described as the “Pontius Pilate” response.
Data provided by federal and provincial authorities indicate emphatically that the vast majority of hospitalized COVID patients are unvaccinated.
Our health region is lagging in vaccination rates compared to elsewhere in B.C., and experiencing a rising rate of COVID infections.
If council wants to continue to avoid encouraging vaccination against COVID, contrary to advice of provincial and federal health officers, perhaps the least council can do is to encourage the local populace to consult with their personal doctor regarding the value of vaccination – that is their physician and not Dr. Facebook or Dr. Twitter.