COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue across Ontario and throughout the world as a significant step forward to fight the COVID-19 virus and to one day ease the impacts of the global pandemic.
The vaccine is not a bulletproof vest against COVID, but is a scientifically-recognized layer of protection in addition to public health measures of masking, physical distancing and frequent handwashing to protect yourself and others.
Hospitals are where some of the most vulnerable patients receive care. In response, the Chief Medical Officer of Health issued Directive 6, mandating hospitals and other high-risk settings to develop and implement a COVID-19 vaccination policy by September 7, 2021.
Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s COVID-19 vaccination policy meets the requirements of Directive 6, which requires unvaccinated and partially vaccinated staff and credentialed staff to submit to weekly rapid antigen testing. All team members also continue to wear personal protective equipment and adhere to infection control guidelines to safeguard themselves and patients we care for.
We respect there is a public expectation for health care workers to roll up their sleeves for a vaccine and at MAHC we are actively encouraging staff our team members to get vaccinated. Vaccination is one of the most successful public health strategies to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
It is important to remember that staff and physicians may not be vaccinated because of medical exemptions or exemptions-based grounds protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code (such as religion). It is not solely based on a personal decision to decline for reasons unrelated to medical or human rights exemptions.
At MAHC, more than 90% of our team is vaccinated and we know that 100% may never be achieved based on the allowed exemptions.
Nevertheless, we encourage the public to get vaccinated to increase a person’s immunity to the virus. While vaccinated people may still contract and transmit COVID, we know it has been scientifically proven that the effects of the virus are minimized.
Your community hospitals continue to work tirelessly to provide the highest quality health care in Muskoka. You too can all do your part to keep them safe by getting vaccinated.