Ontario’s Peel Region declined 5,000 COVID-19 vaccines for Amazon warehouse outbreak


In early March, an Amazon warehouse that staffs 5,000 workers was shut down following a COVID-19 outbreak so that the province and the retail giant could accurately assess how many workers were infected with the virus and how it was spreading.

In an effort to bring the warehouse back online, the province offered to send 5,000 vaccines to the warehouse to reopen the shipping hub.

The Peel Region, consisting of Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon in the Greater Toronto Area, declined the order. The region’s top doctor, medical officer of health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, says he knew the vaccines wouldn’t act fast enough to allow the warehouse to re-open. Specifically, vaccine protection can take two to three weeks to kick in and with the virus already circulating in the warehouse and possibly incubating in workers, the warehouse would have had to close regardless. Loh reportedly called for the Amazon warehouse to shut down in the first place, according to Global News

After denying the vaccines to the affected Amazon workers, Loh said that he asked the province to instead prioritize the Peel Region and allow its at-risk populations to be vaccinated, including frontline workers and the elderly.

The report says that the province heeded the call for more vaccines, however.

Source: Global News