I support Vaccine Mandates

Unvaccinated healthcare workers in Ontario and Quebec got a bit of a break last week as news was made that Doug Ford and Francois Legault (the Premiers of Ontario and Quebec respectively) indicated that they would not be looking to suspend healthcare workers who had not yet been fully vaccinated. I am, to say the least, disappointed that these politicians wouldn’t put their foot down harder on this issue.

As I understand the issue, the concern from the governments was that, because of already existing staff shortages, suspending these workers would have created an extra (and potentially unbearable) burden on the other already overworked healthcare workers. While this is an understandable concern, and Canada has long faced a shortage of nurses and doctors, I don’t think this is a good enough reason to potentially risk the lives of patients during a pandemic.

The simple truth is this: Those who are not vaccinated are the ones leading the infections of COVID, and as already seen in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, the COVID hospitalizations, and ICU admissions. Even though the unvaccinated represent a relatively small portion of the population, they are vastly over represented among those who are infected, in hospital or dying. Western provinces (that happen to be the most conservative) are also the ones who have had to transport their COVID patients to other provinces because they did not have the capacity to support them. Given this I fail to understand how any healthcare worker could look at what has happened over the last 20 months and feel that it is acceptable to go without getting a jab? It simply boggles my mind that there are any healthcare workers who haven’t yet gotten vaccinated.

While I’m not in charge of any government, if I was I would be looking to impose a vaccine mandate for all healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, support staff, whatever.) If you work in a healthcare setting there is absolutely no reason to not do whatever you can to protect yourself and others from this virus. The only difference with my mandate is that I would impose strong cutoff dates (for a first and second vaccine dose), after which any employee would be promptly fired and I would ask the medical boards to revoke their certifications. My reasoning is simple: You clearly aren’t working in the healthcare field because you care about others, so go find yourself another job, because I don’t care about you any more. We, as a society, have the right to demand people make certain concessions on their individual freedom during pandemics and personal liberties are never absolute.

I’ve been living at home, with very little physical social contact for the last 20 months, waiting desperately for this pandemic to end. I’m tired of the fact that there are still people out there who have access to a free, potentially life saving vaccine, that would also help to end this pandemic, and yet they elect to remain unvaccinated. I’m willing to use a blunt hammer in such a situation. I want nothing more than for this pandemic to end, and I don’t want to see any more death and suffering than we need to have. If my position sounds harsh towards these healthcare workers, good, because that’s exactly what it’s supposed to be. Do your job, protect yourself, and protect the community around you that you’re supposed to be working for the betterment of. My patience runs very thin.

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