Ms. Singh is one of the thousands of Canadian children that have struggled with recurrent visits to the emergency room, mostly due to the progressive neurological brain disease. The brain treatment is known as CVID, which stands for Congenital Hypocalcemia and is the most common neurological disease in young children. In Ms. Singh’s case, it started in August 2017 and continued throughout the last months of her first grade.
Ms. Singh’s family has lived in the city of Toronto for about 15 years. Until 2017, they had never been to a specialist.
“If you haven’t been to a specialist, they think you’re lazy,” said Ms. Singh’s father, Raij. “The more you’re there and they’re like, ‘Oh, you don’t take any care of her,’ there’s a lot of negative energy there.”
In February, Ms. Singh’s parents tried to go to a doctor after the child frequently suffered fits. The hospital was unable to diagnose her, so they went back to the hospital the next day, said Mr. Singh.
The family then went to the Toronto Spinal Cord Injury and Brain Injury Centre (TSSCIBC) at St. Michael’s Hospital. Ms. Singh spent weeks and months in a room there, with a doctor and therapist, each time needing another CT scan. In November 2017, she was finally diagnosed with CVID and went home with a long-term prognosis that she would never walk again or smile again.
Their next goal was to get a $12 vaccination from the province that would protect their child against this disease.
This vaccine can’t be acquired over the counter, even if the doses are free. The problem is, there is no public funding for it. The Ministry of Health would not provide a funding amount to The Globe and Mail, citing federal privacy law.
“Currently, there are no plans for the first year of the policy to include the COVID vaccine in the vaccination program and that the Ontario government is committed to assisting those families that are most in need of vaccine coverage and help,” the ministry said in a statement to The Globe and Mail.
After months of confusion over the policy, this week, the province’s health minister announced the sudden availability of the immunization. A mandatory vaccine will also be added to the end of childhood immunization schedule within the next year. Officials told The Globe and Mail that 2,500 children would be required to get the vaccine.