Signs are set up outside Salmon Arm’s SASCU recreation centre for the start of Interior Health’s COVID-19 immunization clinic on Monday morning, March 15, 2021. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Signs are set up outside Salmon Arm’s SASCU recreation centre for the start of Interior Health’s COVID-19 immunization clinic on Monday morning, March 15, 2021. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Letter: Salmon Arm vaccine clinic personnel change raises questions

Writer grateful for work done by volunteers

My husband and I attended the COVID-19 vaccination clinic on separate occasions and found it well organized, and, indeed a good experience.

The volunteers working there were efficient and pleasant. We have not heard any complaints from other members of the community.

However, on the afternoon of April 23, a group of people all wearing Canadian Red Cross shirts were given an tour of the facility. That evening the volunteers received an email advising them that their services were no longer needed. This group of Red Cross employees would take over their duties in the clinic.

Read more: Letter: Salmon Arm resident grateful after vaccination experience

Read more: Sicamous residents pleased with local clinic offering COVID vaccines

This raises some questions:

1. The volunteers were doing a great job. Why was it necessary to replace volunteers with paid employees?

2. We understand that these Red Cross people have been brought in from all across the country, one even being from Nova Scotia and are staying in local hotels. Salmon Arm has lots of people who would be happy to do this work and wouldn’t need to have their expenses covered.

3. We appreciate the work that the Canadian Red Cross does for Canadians in time of need. However, given that there are a number of places in Canada that are being overwhelmed by the virus, wouldn’t it have been wiser to direct these employees to those communities, instead of Salmon Arm where there were people already looking after the vaccination operation?

4. Why bring outsiders, some of them from far away, into our community when we are being advised not to travel, to stay within our own communities?

This seems to me to be a terrible use of our health dollars.

Sande Berger

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