Lack of vaccination mandates for health-care workers could result in staff shortages, disruption of services in Mississauga and Brampton

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Published November 8, 2021 at 2:51 pm

Dr. Lawrence Loh, Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel, is warning the Province’s decision not to implement vaccination mandates for health-care workers could result in staff shortages and disruptions to services due to outbreaks of COVID-19.

“It’s basically pay now or pay later,” Dr. Loh said during a press conference on November 4.

On November 3, Premier Doug Ford announced the Province would not be implementing a vaccine mandate for health care workers due to a potential staff shortage that could result if not enough are vaccinated.

However, Dr. Loh countered that outbreaks caused by a lack of vaccination coverage among health-care workers could also disrupt health care services and lead to staff shortages.

“I know these hospital staffing shortages are a challenge, but we also know that outbreaks in hospitals disrupt health care services significantly,” he said. “The reality is you may come in contact with an infectious disease in a hospital, and those who are unvaccinated could then potentially spread it to an individual who is unable to mount a strong immune response or even create an outbreak that essentially shuts down part of the hospital.”

While there is currently no mandate from the Province, both Trillium Health Network and the William Osler Health System have implemented their own vaccination mandates for staff, meaning health-care workers in Brampton and Mississauga must be vaccinated.

“I’m heartened that many hospitals have implemented their own vaccination mandate policies,” Dr. Loh said. “The Council of Medical Officers of Health, I with them, have been unequivocal in our support of vaccine mandates ultimately to protect patients as well as the health care workers that serve them.”

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