CALGARY — The head of the Alberta Medical Association is calling for vaccinations to be mandatory for all health-care workers in the province.
In a letter to members released Tuesday, AMA president Paul Boucher says the group has “taken a stance throughout the pandemic for strong public health measures and this includes vaccination.”
“The Board believes that continued leadership is important. Accordingly, we are making a public call for mandatory vaccination of all health-care workers,” it read.
“As we look back on the outbreaks experienced in health care settings and face the prospect of a fourth wave with more contagious variants, mandatory vaccination of health-care workers is essential. It will help protect our patients, staff and colleagues.”
The letter points out several other medical groups have made similar calls across the country, including the Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Nurses Association, Ontario Medical Association, New Brunswick Medical Society, Doctors Nova Scotia and Doctors Manitoba.
“I realize that many aspects of the pandemic have been polarizing and that not all our members will agree with this stance,” said Boucher.
“The Board and I felt that we should lend our voice to this important issue as vaccination remains our most effective tool to keep our vulnerable patients safe and our best path out of the pandemic.”
Boucher’s letter invited feedback from members.
Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation – which owns the Calgary Flames, Hitmen, Stampeders and Roughnecks – announced on Monday that all fans, players and employees must be fully vaccinated to attend live events at the Scotiabank Saddledome and McMahon Stadium, starting in September.
A number of other businesses in Calgary, including Dickens Pub and the Palamino Smokehouse, also announced the need for vaccinations to attend events. In Edmonton, vaccinations or proof of a negative test will be required to attend events at Rogers Place.
Alberta recorded a two-month high in the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units while the province added nearly 2,000 cases over the weekend. The report included data from Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
There are 54 COVID-19 patients in Alberta ICUs, nearly 2 1/2 times more than at the start of the month and the highest since June 23.
Those 54 are included in the 244 patients in hospital, the higest since June 16.
Among eligible Albertans, 77.3 per cent have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 68.8 per cent have had a second shot.
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