Tuesday, November 3, 2009


It was revealed today in the Telegraph-Journal that several teams in the Atlantic division were given the H1N1 vaccine last week. The teams have been put under fire about why they were put ahead of priority groups such as pregnant women and school aged children.

"Our team doctor identified us as a priority group," Acadie-Bathurst Titan marketing director Luc Foulem said. "From what I understand all teams were to be on the priority list because of the nature of what they do."

By all teams he meant just four in the Atlantic division. The Titan, Moncton Wildcats, PEI Rocket, and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles were all given the shot last week. Saint John and Halifax are waiting for their turns.

The Wildcats had to cancel Sunday's game against the Montreal Junior because only 11 players were able play, something Mooseheads head coach Cam Russel doesn't want to happen.

"You know how these things are, they can spread pretty quickly," Russell said to the Chronicle-Herald. "It started with (Gabriel) Desjardins last week and I figured it was just a matter of time before more guys caught it. The players are together every day in pretty close quarters so it doesn’t take much for a flu to make it through an entire team. We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess."

The Wildcats have been put under a lot of heat since Sunday, something Moncton general manager Bill Schurman doesn't understand."We ordered it," he told CBC News on Monday. "I mean, there's nothing else that I can say other than we as an organization, we're responsible for these players and they're very active and high-profile and we have our own medical staff." The only problem is that the vaccine has never been set up for orders to take place.

"Hockey teams are not a priority, although if they are made up of children they are in the priority group, but not because they play hockey," Dr. Eilish Cleary, chief medical officer of health said on Monady. "I have no knowledge about that, but I certainly will be following up," she said about the Wildcats and Titan.

The Sea Dogs have yet to get the shots but have been taking precautions. "We are taking measures such as separate water bottles, separate towels and anything like that to be very cautious," said team president Wayne Long. "Obviously we want to get the shot, we are working with our doctors to secure the shot, but we can't jump any line, so we will get it when we can."

CBC New Brunswick reports that the QMJHL is in not responsible for teams getting the shot but did provide information about H1N1.

The Atlantic's two "shotless" teams battle Wednesday at Harbour Station.

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