SAH does not need a COVID vaccine
The situation looks likely to change as more hospitals across the province and across Canada take the lead
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When I accompanied my wife Barbara to the Sault area hospital last week, I was surprised that none of us, ambulatory patient and visitor, had to show that we were fully immunized.
I found this strange from a medical establishment, given that we have to show such proof when entering a catering establishment.
But I do note that Brandy Sharp Young, head of communications and media services at SAH, was quoted in an article on SooToday as saying that the visitor policy is reviewed weekly during the COVID-19 command meeting of the hospital.
“We recognize the essential role visitors play in providing physical, social, emotional and navigational care. There is evidence to show that the presence of family improves quality of life and results in better patient care outcomes and experience, ”she said.
“Any changes to our COVID-19 visitor policy would take into account the importance of visitors and the overall risk to our patients, healthcare workers and the community. ”
SAH is not the only one to hold this policy; most of the province’s hospitals also have it.
But there is evidence that change could be in the wind.
While several health centers in the GTA had been at the forefront in requesting that visitors be vaccinated, Kingston Health Science began demanding this last week.
And according to a CTV report, many hospitals in Quebec have already taken this route, and in British Columbia, visitor vaccination requirements, first adopted in long-term care homes, have now spread to institutions. acute care.
I don’t think that’s too much to ask. After all, although this is not the case at the SAH at the moment, many hospitals require that all staff be fully immunized.
I couldn’t agree more.
These people, from those who care for us to those who care for the hospital, deserve all the protection we can give them.
Therefore, I believe that everyone who works in hospitals and anyone who visits should be vaccinated and while we are doing very well in Algoma when it comes to COVID – at least we were until 11 cases were confirmed last weekend. It is time for SAH to get its act together and put the two requirements in place.
In the United States, about 41% of hospitals nationwide – about 2,570 facilities – have some sort of vaccination mandate, according to data collected by the American Hospital Association, a trade group
The London Health Sciences Center last week joined the growing list of hospitals in Ontario that are making vaccination mandatory for all employees.
It laid off 84 employees, including 33 nurses, for failing to comply with its mandatory vaccination policy by the October 21 deadline at midnight.
Some hospital unions say they intend to fight the new policy, but I say good luck to them. We are in a pandemic and the courts around the world have all spoken on the side of those who make the policy.
This, of course, is based on the fact that in the midst of a pandemic, it is for the public good.
A few doctors are also losing their hospital privileges at the LHSC, authorizations that give doctors access to hospital facilities. And then I thought that all the doctors, believing in the science that they had been taught, would know better.
A story from Postmedia said that of the 84 employees fired for cause at LSHC, 43 worked in clinical roles and 41 in non-clinical departments. LHSC has nearly 15,000 employees.
At the time of the layoffs, 98.2% of staff and 99.8% of doctors and residents were fully immunized and officials said that with so many staff available, there should be no disruption of care.
Anita Davis, a hospital nurse and spokesperson for the United Health Care Workers of Ontario, who says she represents about 3,000 frontline workers, spoke at a rally of about 40 people before the layoffs.
“I received my notice that I will be fired because I choose not to vaccinate,” Davis said. “I don’t want to lose my job and I don’t think there is a reason why a staff member has to lose their job. We have protocols in place to ensure the safety of our patients. ”
There is no doubt that such protocols are in place, but workers and patients will be better protected when all hospitals have protocols in place covering the vaccination of workers and visitors.
Davis said that before the pandemic, the LHSC was already short of about 100 registered nurses and that layoffs and suspensions would result in even longer wait times for surgeries, tests, appointments and visits to clinics. emergency room.
But a report released last week by the Ontario Scientific Advisory Table COVID-19 says mandatory vaccination for hospital workers will actually reduce the risk of staff shortages, as fewer workers are likely to be infected. by the coronavirus. The advisory group also says mandatory policies will make hospitals safer, as fully immunized staff will protect patients, especially the elderly and immunocompromised, from infection.
Davis, who said she was hesitant about vaccination and not anti-vaccination, is now joining the ranks of the unemployed.
I have to say that I find it hard to see people quitting a high paying job just because they don’t want to be vaccinated, especially since we all have all kinds of vaccines in our bodies since childhood.
If it’s a job that a person doesn’t like, I guess that’s one thing. But for those who work in the medical field, for many, that’s all they ever wanted to do. How do you give up that because of a quick hit in the arm?
Either way, it is largely evident that vaccination mandates are working as the majority of those who hesitated got vaccinated.
As this means that we are going to make progress in the fight against COVID, they have my full support.