Stuck in the red zone but too young for vaccine, Monteregie residents in their 70s have worst of both worlds
MONTREAL -- Some South Shore residents who are over the age of 70 are caught in a worst of both worlds situation: beholden to the maximum level of COVID-19 restrictions, but too young to receive a vaccine.
The Monteregie region, like Montreal and Laval, is classified as a red zone. As of Monday, much of the province will be classified as orange.
The situation is a frustrating one for people like John Smith and his wife Huguette. Both in their 70s, they wonder when their time to receive the vaccine will come.
“We find it goes two ways. When things are going really good, we're not part of the grand metropolitan (area). When things are going bad, we are,” said Smith.
In Montreal and Laval, the eligibility age to receive the vaccine is 70-years-old and over, but in Brossard, the cut off age is 80.
Smith said he doesn't understand why the government decided to keep that age restriction in their region.
“The population of Monteregie is three to four times what Laval is, had almost double the number of cases and we've had 70 per cent more deaths,” he said.
In a statement sent to CTV News, Quebec Public Health cited the epidemiological situation in Montreal and Laval as a reason why those cities have received “a number of vaccines greater than the weight of their populations.”
“As a result, these regions were able to start their vaccinations more quickly and to a larger number of people, for example those aged 70 and over.”
Cardiologist Christopher Labos noted that Montreal and Laval have been the two hardest hit regions in the province in terms of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Still, he understood why some might be frustrated.
“The system is not perfect, but you have to find some sort of method to figureo ut where your'e going to pour most of your resources,” he said. “Using these types of administrative regions is an imperfect, but probably simplest, way of going about it.”