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‘At this point there is no program to vaccinate detainees’


 

Global gets a statement from National Defence.

“Vaccinations against H1N1 are being offered to members of the Canadian forces and Canadian civilian personnel deployed in Afghanistan. The Canadian forces are providing appropriate medical care to those in their custody. Offering vaccinations to detainees for H1N1 would be based on medical need and at this point there is no program to vaccinate detainees. No vaccine has been provided to any detainee.”

Canadian Press gets the same statement and reviews the claims.


 

‘At this point there is no program to vaccinate detainees’

  1. Honestly, I don't get this whole controversy.

    Millions of vaccines have been sent to the provinces, but there is a bottleneck in the logistics to administer it to the general public. OK, understandable.

    But we have some instances of Drs/nurses who are not involved fulltime in administering the vaccine injecting it into whomever outside of the bottlenecked system.Is this not of net benefit if the vaccines would sit in some fridge otherwise?

    As far as Afghanistan, if the vaccine is available, and the medics are not taken away from more pressing issues, why not administer it? It doesn't strike me that children in T.O. or Calgary are being affected as a result.

    This should be interesting….

  2. Within a few more weeks, there is going to be enough vaccine for everybody who wants a shot.

    Until then, it does not violate the Geneva Conventions to allocate vaccine (when supplies are limited) to high risk/hich priority groups and individuals Being an Afghan detainee doe NOT put one into a high risk category, so there is no reason to put them at the front of the line. They will get their opportunity in due course, as supplies of the vaccine are not longer in short supply.

    The Geneva Conventions doesn't say one has to deny care to a civilian or a soldier more in need of health care than a prisoner. When medical care has to be rationed, it is legitimate to ration it based on medical priority.

    • Agreed, since I have at least one iota of common sense. I can't believe this is even a discussion.

  3. SSYW has it right. There is absolutely ne need to give the vaccine to Taliban detainees on a priority basis. Priority should be given to those in Canada who have been deemed high risk, followed by all children.

    • No he doesn't. Dot does. The vaccines are coming out of army stock. No one at home or no soldier will go without due to giving the shot to any detainee who wants one. Or would you rather we let the vaccine rot? This whole story is ridiculous. It's not reflecting well on the minister or the govt for that matter. On top of which we have obligations under the GC. It's yet one more example of what we can expect from this govt – disregarding laws, treaties it doesn't like, playing wedge politics on every issue, and winding up the con-bots. [ well they can do that on their own ]

      • kcm, I suggest to you that if the "army stock" was doled out to the army the same as it was to the provinces, i.e., that they are provided enough right now for the high-risk population, the provinces would have a bigger supply to in fact innoculate more of their high-risk population. That the army was given a too-high vaccine supply while provinces closed high-risk innoculation centres early, doesn't reflect well on somebody. I suspect transportation costs figure into this somewhere, but it was a dumb thing to do.

        • How many coffee beans did you get in your one pound bag? More or less than the last time?

    • No he doesn't. Dot does. The vaccines are coming out of army stock. No one at home or no soldier will go without due to giving the shot to any detainee who wants one. Or would you rather we let the vaccine rot? This whole story is ridiculous. It's not reflecting well on the minister or the govt for that matter. On top of which we have obligations under the GC. It's yet one more example of what we can expect from this govt – disregarding laws, treaties it doesn't like, playing wedge politics on every issue, and winding up the con-bots. [ well they can do that on their own

  4. This is such a weird story.

    First, we have very few detainees.

    Second, we turn them over to the Afghans as soon as they no longer have any intel value.

    So it’s hard to believe that a vaccination program would ever vbe necessary.

  5. I believe that the detainees would be on the priority list as they are institutionalized/detained — one of the class of individuals on the priority list.

    This makes sense due to the ease with which sickness flows through detention facilities and the fact it's much easier to give a few hundred people in detention a vaccine than it is to treat the same number of people with the flu whilst in detention.

  6. We are supposed to be better than this.

  7. The vaccines are coming out of army stock

    And, as noted, the Forces have already returned 30000 units of surplus stock, presumably local, to the Canadian government.

    So, where exactly is the problem with using resources that are likely already in Afghanistan to meet our legal obligations we've agreed to under both International Law as well as through agreement with the Afghan government? Is there really an expectation that we fly what likely amounts to a few thousand units back around the world just in time for the next batch out of the factory to make them horribly redundant?

    This is all about an US VS THEM mentality being applied to what's supposed to be a strategy to win hearts and minds. Can someone tell me how this act of compassion hurts that? 'cause I can certainly tell you how days of press with government officials going ape about it hurts now that the Internet sees to it that the world isn't flat anymore…

    • “This is all about an US VS THEM mentality being applied to what’s supposed to be a strategy to win hearts and minds”

      Exactly! And exactly why we shouldn’t indulge ourselves in small mindedness!
      How much is it worth if Afgans see this act of generosity on our behalf? Of course the cynical will merely say they’ll think us fools. Well we are all fols in this life one way or another – i’ll pick this kind of follishness myself.

    • It's also worth noting that the last numbers I can find on Canadian detainees amounts to 18-20 roughly two years ago, before prisoner transfers resumed earlier this year.

      http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/01/31/afghan-d

      We've thrown away a PR win over what could amount to 20 doses of vaccine, possibly less, not likely substantially more, that are already in Afghanistan if the plan was to begin Tomorrow/Wednesday.

  8. If the Taliban fighters get the vaccination and then a single Canadian child dies from H1N1 because they couldn't get the vaccination in time, there will be a good argument for putting the MPs in detainment too.

    • Spoken in pure ignorance. See Dot's post above. Your ferocious antipathy for the ordinary young Pathans who make up the Taliban's fighters (as opposed to their leadership) is most unChristian.

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