Ford announces next vaccine rollout recipients will be decided by a provincial-wide game of UNO

(Courtesy of Victoria Silman, Managing Editor)

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Premier Doug Ford announced over the weekend that a provincial-wide game of UNO will decide the next recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine. This decision was made this past week, following a conference where Ford stated that the federal government’s vaccine rollout plan thus far had been “a joke.” According to the Premier, this statement sparked the idea to turn the Ontario rollout plan “from a joke into a game.”

“It’s time we say enough is enough on these vaccine delays,” stated Ford when announcing his new plan. “Ontario residents deserve a fair and straightforward shot at receiving their immunization,” he said, following this by claiming that “nothing levels the playing field more than a game primarily composed of chance.”

Ford announced his decision just as the classic card game celebrated its 50 year anniversary on shelves. With board and card game sales previously being down in the past year as a result of the pandemic, stores across the province are now rapidly selling out of UNO cards, with residents scrambling to practice their skills.

“I don’t think people realize you can play UNO online or practice with regular cards,” acknowledges third-year common sense student Alan Noor, who states that he is undecided yet whether or not he will be participating in the games. 

Registration for the game, now known as the UNO for Immunization Act, opened this morning through the Government of Ontario website. While there is little information available yet on how or when the game will commence or logistically work, MPP Matt Robbins, Ontario’s Minister of Childhood Party Games, promises that all Ontario residents will be given a “fair shot” at the prize, granted they have internet access, a deck of UNO cards, and the “will to win.”

The winner will be given the next available appointment in their city for a COVID-19 vaccination. The game will carry on until “there are no vaccines left in the rollout,” according to Ford. The Ontario Government has yet to announce how many winners there will be, but experts argue that with the current rate of vaccines coming into the country, there will be roughly 10 provincial vaccinations available as prizes once the game commences. 

The classic card game’s objective is to be the first player to rid themselves of all their cards. When a player has one card left in their hand, they must yell “UNO,” or they have to pick up five additional cards. MPP Robbins explains that during the provincial-wide game, if a player forgets to yell “UNO” they will be immediately placed at the bottom of the rollout list. 

“Game rules are put in place for a reason,” Robbins says. “Everyone is given an equal shot — no favourites can be given in a simple card game.”

However, the UNO for Immunization Act is receiving backlash after an announcement was made that the registration process will require potential players to include a personal financial statement. The newly released guidelines note that residents making over $100,000 annually will begin the game with four cards instead of the usual seven. 

“I feel like this is a fair addition to the game rules,” argues Baxter Reily, a hedge fund portfolio manager located in Toronto. “Three cards can’t make that much of a difference. Work as hard as me, and you can get rid of them too.”

Robbins assures, however, that the financial status of the players will not get in the way of the game’s authenticity. 

“The UNO for Immunization Act is meant to offer an equal opportunity for all Ontario residents to receive the protection against the virus they deserve. And just as in real life, only winners can be guaranteed that luxury.”

Premier Ford has promised that the game itself will be conducted in a “sportsmanlike and fair manner.” He offered well wishes to the players by ending this past week’s press conference with kind hopes that all participants’ “odds be ever in their favour.”

About the Author

By Sarah Garofalo


Sarah is in her fourth year of Film Studies at York University. She is passionate about using writing as a tool to educate herself and introduce others to hidden stories and new ideas. In the future, she hopes to continue her studies in film and merge it with her love of writing and journalism. You can always find Sarah sketching, painting or endlessly watching films while waiting to get back into movie theatres.


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