The leaders of British Columbia’s two major political parties say every person in the province will be eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine once one is approved and available.
John Horgan told a virtual town hall meeting Monday evening that a re-elected NDP government on Oct. 24 will provide free COVID-19 vaccines to whoever wants one.
Horgan’s promise was quickly followed by a similar pledge from Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson, who said he couldn’t imagine charging people for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Horgan said providing a free COVID-19 vaccine will be part of the NDP’s recovery plan because a healthy population can rebuild the province’s economy.
The NDP’s $1.6-billion recovery plan also includes almost two million flu shots, 7,000 more long-term care workers and more options for at-home care.
Wilkinson had promised free flu shots earlier in the campaign, then matched the promise Horgan made on COVID-19.
“In what world would a life-saving vaccine not be free to British Columbians,” said Wilkinson in a post to his Twitter account.
The NDP promise also included making 45,000 high-dose influenza immunizations available to all those living in long-term care and assisted living facilities.
Horgan and several other NDP candidates fielded about a dozen questions from people who were identified by their first names only during the hour-long virtual town hall meeting. The participants asked questions about child care, Indigenous reconciliation, the opioid crises, the environment and support for rural communities.