Ontario's doctors' plans for delivering COVID vaccine more urgent in face of record 2,275 daily cases
TORONTO, Dec. 15, 2020 /CNW/ - Ontario's doctors expressed concern that a record 2,275 Ontarians have tested positive for COVID-19 in one day and call on the government to ensure that initial limited supplies of the vaccine are given to those most at risk of being exposed to the virus.
In addition to health-care workers and people who live and work in long-term care homes, the government needs to use real-time data to track geographic areas where the virus is spreading fast and give priority to their residents.
The Ontario Medical Association today released Shining a Light at the End of the Tunnel, a comprehensive set of recommendations to ensure as many people as possible get vaccinated.
Dr. Samantha Hill, president of the Ontario Medical Association, assured Ontarians that the COVID vaccines are safe and that getting vaccinated is one of the most important things they can do to protect themselves and others.
Until a large number of people are vaccinated, it's important to continue to practice good hygiene, including physical distancing, wearing a mask and frequent hand washing, Dr. Hill said.
The new OMA white paper also recommends:
- Administering vaccines in convenient locations — such as hospitals for health-care workers, schools for staff and students and mobile vans for people unable to leave their homes.
- Moving quickly to book arenas, convention centres and other large indoor and outdoor spaces with cold storage facilities and parking facilities or access to public transportation, as part of government's plans to prepare for possible mass vaccination clinics.
- Planning should begin now in anticipation of an approved vaccine for children under 16.
- Undertaking an education campaign to combat vaccine hesitancy and misinformation.
- Enabling the use of smart phones to make appointments to get the COVID vaccine and receive reminders if they need a booster shot. The smart phone system should align with each type of vaccination, advise primary care physicians when their patents get each dose and provide consent and other information and forms.
- Developing security precautions to ensure vaccines are not stolen and to shut down criminal behaviour around the falsification or illegal advertising of vaccines, including fake websites, scams and false cures.
"The arrival of the first in what are expected to be a series of different COVID vaccines is an exciting development in what we all hope will be a return to a 'new normal' in 2021," said OMA CEO Allan O'Dette. "Until vaccines are broadly available, we must continue to follow the advice or our public health doctors to protect ourselves and each other. This is how we get our economy back on track."
About the OMA
The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario's 43,000-plus physicians, medical students and retired physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario's health-care system.
SOURCE Ontario Medical Association