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Second Alberta Health employee fired Add to ...

A second Alberta health care worker has been fired in connection with the influenza vaccination clinic held for Calgary Flames players, officials and their families, the province announced Friday.

Alberta Health Services, which oversees health care delivery in the province, sacked the "most senior" official involved earlier in the week when it came to light that people connected to the hockey franchise received preferential treatment at a private inoculation session while other Albertans stood in long lines at public clinics.

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The board said a medical official with the hockey teams asked Alberta Health Services on Oct. 27 for a special clinic. That request was passed onto a more senior worker, who took it to a supervisor who, in turn, approved the clinic, which was held at Father David Bauer Arena on Oct. 30. That was the day before public clinics were temporarily closed across the province in light of a national shortage of the vaccine. There was no paper trail and no other more senior health-care officials were alerted to the special request, according to the board.

Health care officials now say 150 people received the H1N1 vaccination.

"There is no written record of approval to proceed and there is no process for authorization of the use of the H1N1 vaccine for this purpose, as it contradicts existing protocols and processes," Alberta Health Services said in a statement.

No other disciplinary action will be taken, the board said, adding that an advisory has been sent to everyone involved in the vaccination campaign to ensure "no exceptions will be made."

David Climenhaga, a spokesman for the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, called the fired employees "scapegoats" and an "overreaction" for "government blunders" in connection with the vaccine rollout. He doesn't know whether either employee is a member of his union, but said that AUPE would be quick to file grievances if that is the case. "Any union worth its salt is going to fight really hard to represent [a union employee]" he said, adding, "I frankly think [a non-union employee]has a very good wrongful dismissal case."

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