Canadian Cancer Survivor Network congratulates Alberta on including cancer patients in Phase 2
On Monday, March 15th, the Government of Alberta released the list of those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine during Phase 2B of its distribution plan. We are pleased to report that cancer patients age 16 and older are included in the category of those with underlying health conditions. Anyone with a new diagnosis of cancer or who has been treated for their cancer in the last year will be able to book an appointment once Phase 2B begins, which is expected to be in April.
Last week, the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network met with six MLAs in the province including the NDP Health Critic, MLA Shepherd, in order to share the results of our COVID-19 and Cancer Care Disruption Wave 2 Survey. In our meetings, we discussed the unique challenges that cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors have faced during the pandemic such as difficulties accessing essential cancer care and concerns about contracting COVID-19 in a hospital setting. We also discussed the need to explicitly include cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers in the next phase of vaccine rollout.
The decision to prioritize cancer patients during Phase 2B will go a long way towards reducing the anxieties cancer patients have felt over this past year. This will ensure that cancer patients have a sense of security when engaging with the healthcare system and access lifesaving treatments.
We urge the Government of Alberta to also consider prioritizing cancer survivors who have weakened immune systems as well as caregivers of cancer patients. Doing so would further protect a vulnerable population. We would like to thank MLA Lori Sigurdson for making a statement in the Legislature to show her support.