A message from the physician leaders that serve on the Saskatchewan Health Authority Executive Leadership Team:
Our front-line immunizers are saving lives. Every day, with every needle in an arm, one more person is provided protection from the worst effects of COVID 19.
And we are one step closer to ending the pandemic.
That is why it is so concerning that in recent days we have heard an increasing number of complaints about
verbal abuse toward our staff at vaccination clinics. While the vast majority of our patients are expressing their gratitude and thankfulness toward clinic staff, enough stories are coming forward about disrespectful interactions that we feel it is necessary to call out this behaviour.
We recognize that with the fast pace of change, communications has been a challenge. We admit that more patients than we are comfortable with show up without perfect information about the process or the safety of the vaccines we are delivering. Addressing these issues is our challenge as health system leaders;
it is not the fault of those at the front-line.
We want to remind you of the clinical impact these front-line immunizers are having.
Our front-line health-care workers are delivering vaccines that are saving lives and keeping more people out of hospital. Keeping more people out of hospital is also the only way to ensure our health system is not overwhelmed and is there for you when you need it.
We recognize that there has been some hesitancy regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine.
As physicians, we want to assure you that all of the vaccines currently approved as safe for use in Canada by Health Canada, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), and us! If you choose to defer your chance to get the first vaccine available to you, the risk of contracting COVID-19 will remain, resulting in far higher likelihood of serious illness or death than the extremely small odds of even having an adverse event from one of our vaccines.
So please, regardless of which vaccine our immunizers are offering you, we recommend you take it. And just as important, please help us drown out the small minority who insist on being disrespectful to our immunizers with a chorus of gratitude from the vast majority of Saskatchewan residents who are proud of the efforts of our frontline immunizers.
Their efforts are keeping more of us alive to see the end of this terrible virus and they deserve to be celebrated.
Dr. Kevin Wasko, Physician Executive, Integrated Rural Health
Dr. Rashaad Hansia, Physician Executive, Integrated Urban Health
Dr. Paul Babyn, Physician Executive, Provincial Programs
Dr. Stephanie Young, Physician Executive, Integrated Northern Health
Dr. Susan Shaw, Chief Medical Officer