CKHA wants all healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19

CEO CKHA Lori Marshall. June 27, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Cowan Blackburn News Chatham-Kent)

The president of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance says she agrees that all health care workers should be required to be fully vaccinated to protect themselves and their patients.

According to Lori Marshall, the CKHA is working alongside the Ontario Hospital Association to develop a policy that requires health care workers to get vaccinated.

“I think that it’s certain that I believe that health care workers should be vaccinated,” said Marshall.

In a news release issued on July 16, the Ontario Medical Association said mandatory vaccinations in the field are necessary to protect workers, patients, and the broader community.

“Vaccines are the best way to control the spread of COVID-19, and remain an essential component in protecting our patients, families and friends,” said OMA president Dr. Adam Kassam.

A recent survey of Ontario physicians found that 98 per cent of respondents have already received both doses of a COVID vaccination. However, healthcare workers are getting vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus voluntarily.

When asked about the number of local health care workers vaccinated, Marshall could not confirm a number.  Marshall said staff are asked to voluntarily report their vaccination status to their occupational health and safety department.

“I don’t have a confirmed number,” said Marshall. “I continue to believe the rate is high among hospital staff and physicians at CHKA.”

As of July 22, in Chatham-Kent, adults have a 76 per cent first-dose coverage rate and a full vaccination rate of 64 percent.

While it is not mandatory to get vaccinated, officials are anticipating that there will be some degree of a policy across the province.

“At this stage, we haven’t made a change to our policy or our practice but I would anticipate that in the near future, there will be some degree of a policy across the province,” said Marshall.

CK Public Health is offering walk-in appointments for residents looking to receive their first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Bradley Centre Clinic in Chatham.

According to officials, the walk-ins will run on a “while supplies last” basis, so those looking for a specific time and date for their vaccine are asked to book an appointment online or by calling 519-351-1010 and leaving a message.

Details for walk-ins are as follows:

Thursday, July 22 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 24 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Monday, July 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tuesday, July 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wednesday, July 28 from 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 29 from 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Friday, July 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.