As Ontario's chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore was announcing the plans for rolling out Ontario's third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, he commented that health care workers have a duty to get the shot. He said workers who do not are endangering their patients.
Moore was speaking at an online news conference Wednesday where he explained why the province believes a third dose of vaccine will be helpful in providing an additional layer of protection for thousands of residents whose level of immunity cpould be challenged by the Delta Variant or by other health conditions that put people at a higher risk of infection.
In the Queen's Park news conference Moore was asked about the difficulty of convincing more health care workers that they should should at least get a first and second dose of vaccine.
Moore told the new conference that "the vast majority of Ontario physicians" are are already at "a high 90 per cent level". He did not offer any numbers for other health workers such as nurses, personal support workers and home care workers. While it has become obvious in recent weeks that hundreds of such workers across Ontario have not been immunized, Moore said they should be.
"So many health care workers are embracing protection of themselves, their family, but also of their patients. I think for health care workers if you haven't been vaccinated, please, I think it's your professional duty to do so," said Moore.
He said health care workers who are not vaccinated could be free of symptoms and still be carrying the virus into their workplaces and endangering patients.
"Two to three days before your symptoms start, which you are actually shedding a large amount of virus, it puts your patients who are immune suppressed potentially at risk. And I do think it's the professional duty of every healthcare worker to be immunized. And I call you forward to to get immunized," said Moore.
At another point in the news conference Moore said despite the rollout of the third dose of vaccine, he said convincing all Ontario residents to get their first dose is still a priority.
"Our urgent priority and call to arms remains for those who have yet to get their first dose or complete their primary series," said Moore.
"The majority of hospitalizations are amongst the unvaccinated. Which is why I continue to encourage everyone to get fully vaccinated as it remains our best defense against COVID-19 and its severe outcomes.
Len Gillis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com