The SASCU Recreation Centre is serving as a COVID-19 mass immunization clinic. (File photo)

Replacing volunteer staff at Salmon Arm vaccination clinic upsets MLA

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo questions how and why volunteers relieved of duties

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo is not happy the local volunteers staffing the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Salmon Arm will be replaced by paid Canadian Red Cross workers.

In a statement released on Friday, Kyllo noted the vaccination efforts that have, and continue to, take place in the Shuswap would not be possible without the selfless dedication of clinic staff and volunteers.

“Since its opening on March 15, the Salmon Arm vaccination clinic has been operated by an incredible team of volunteers comprised of hard-working and well-respected members of our community who have worked up to six days a week,” he said.

READ MORE: Salmon Arm rec centre to serve as COVID-19 vaccination hub

“While I in no way discourage the incredible and important work of the Canadian Red Cross and thank them and their staff for their crucial role in our vaccination efforts, I was disappointed to learn that our local volunteer teams received less than 48 hours notice that they were to be replaced with paid out-of-town staff.

Kyllo also cited concerns about many of the replacement staff are coming from across Canada, have yet to be vaccinated and will be accommodated here in Salmon Arm at the taxpayers’ expense.

He felt raised questions about whether this situation could have been handled with a little more planning, local consultation, and consideration for the incredible efforts of our local volunteer teams.

“We all want to see our vaccination plan carried out as safely and efficiently as possible while using the resources available to deliver the best vaccination plan possible in every community across B.C.,” Kyllo added.

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