One group left behind in the entire discussion of vaccination testing in Saskatchewan appears to be people who cannot be vaccinated.
Medical exemptions are widely discussed, but the number of people it would actually apply to is very small. Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province’s director of medical health, says that less than one percent of the population would qualify.
Global News spoke with a woman who is part of that one percent.
The Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons has said there should only be two reasons doctors write a vaccine exemption: one is a severe allergy or anaphylactic reaction, and the other is a rare heart condition.
Global News confirmed through health records that the woman we interviewed has a medical exemption from the vaccine.
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Her identity is being protected because she fears that the public will not share her unvaccinated status. For the purposes of this story, she will be called Sarah.
Sarah says she tried to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but her body just wouldn’t let her.
“Within five minutes, my tongue swelled and I couldn’t speak or utter words,” Sarah recalled.
She says she received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in May. 1.
“Where I went to get vaccinated, they hit me with an EpiPen and then I ended up in the ER and had extra doses of epinephrine there,” he added.
Because of the anaphylactic reaction Sarah experienced, medical professionals have advised her not to receive her second dose, she says. Sarah adds that she had to be treated with three doses of epinephrine that day.
She describes it as a terrifying experience and hasn’t shared her story online because she doesn’t want to discourage those eligible from getting vaccinated.
“I never shared what happened on the platforms, because I didn’t want my experience so that someone else wouldn’t stick to COVID because it happened to me. Because it is something rare that happens ”, explained.
Saskatchewan will allow employers to ask workers for proof of vaccination
Saskatchewan’s human rights commission says that people who choose not to get vaccinated due to personal preferences are not entitled to housing under the human rights code.
The commission recognizes that there are some people who cannot accept the vaccine for a reason protected by the code.
On its website, the commission states: “Employers and service providers have a duty to accommodate them reasonably, to the point of suffering undue hardship.”
The testing requirements for COVID meet the duty to adapt.
On Tuesday, the provincial government announced that all asymptomatic tests will be paid for out of pocket. Starting Friday, one will be required to go to various public spaces like gyms, event venues, and restaurants, which means people like Sarah will have to pay to move freely around the community.
“Having to pay $ 95 or $ 100 for a PCR test every ‘x’ number of days is unreasonable and not your choice,” Sarah said.
She says the government has not provided clear directives for people like her, who wanted to get vaccinated but couldn’t, adding that if her workplace requires her to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test, she will face over $ 360 in trial charges per month.
In an email sent to Global News, the health ministry says other exemptions could be determined in consultation with doctors. The ministry adds:
“At this time, the Saskatchewan government is still working with a variety of stakeholders to determine final guidance regarding a negative test or vaccination test requirement. We will have more details closer to October 1. “
That schedule is fast approaching, and Sarah hopes the ministry will issue directives that businesses and employers can follow for people like her who can’t get vaccinated due to health risks.
Sask Vaccine Test Policy Questions: Will Employees Need to Get Vaccinated on October 1?
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