August 3, 2021 —The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), representing physicians and nurses across Canada, are joining the call for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers.
With mounting concerns over highly contagious COVID-19 variants and leveling-off vaccination rates across Canada, the mandatory vaccination of health care workers is an additional measure to protect patients, the health workforce and health care system capacity. Higher rates of vaccination will reduce the burden of COVID-19 in our communities and bolster ongoing pandemic management efforts.
“As health providers, we have a fundamental duty of care towards our patients and the public. There is significant evidence that vaccines are safe and effective and as health professionals who are leading the vaccination campaigns, it is the right call and an appropriate step,” says Dr. Ann Collins, CMA president.
Historically, health care workers have always been at the forefront of population-wide immunization. Tim Guest, CNA president noted “throughout this pandemic, health workers have been on the front lines and were among the first to get vaccinated. We need to maintain this trend and ensure that we take all the necessary steps to protect our patients and, of course, protect each other.”
Beyond mandatory vaccination of health care workers, the CMA and the CNA are also calling on all levels of government and employers to implement strategies that decrease barriers to accessing vaccines and improve vaccine acceptance. While vaccines are readily available across Canada, we recognize that the history of inequity within the health care system impacts trust. Therefore, governments and employers must continue to support and address vaccine hesitancy and system barriers to achieving the highest rate of vaccination among the public and health workforce.
With COVID-19 cases increasing among unvaccinated Canadians, it is essential to double down on vaccination efforts. The CMA and the CNA continue to urge all Canadians to get fully immunized and bring any questions or concerns to a health care professional.
About the CMA
The Canadian Medical Association is the national voice of the medical profession. Our focus is on creating strong and accessible health systems, fostering well-being and diversity in medical culture, and ensuring every person in Canada has equal opportunity to be healthy. In partnership with physicians, medical learners, patients and others, we advance these goals through advocacy, knowledge sharing and granting.
About the CNA
The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing. We represent registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed and registered practical nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and retired nurses across all 13 provinces and territories.