We're making progress with COVID-19 vaccinations!
December 2020 marked a pivotal moment in our fight against COVID-19 in Canada. The first COVID-19 vaccines were authorized for use, and soon after, vaccines became available to priority groups.
Since December, thousands of health care providers in Canada have rolled up their sleeves and chosen to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Many of you shared this experience with colleagues, patients and others in your networks, often with messages of empowerment and solidarity #IGotTheShot #VaccinesWork #ThisIsOurShot. In doing so, you have taken one of the best possible measures to keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19 and sent a powerful pro-vaccination message to your community.
Know this: Your words and actions make a difference in the vaccination decisions of your patients and others with whom you connect.
Time and again, research shows that Canadians look to health care providers as a trusted source of COVID-19 information and advice. Given their newness, Canadians understandably have questions about the vaccines, and look to health care providers for answers, reassurance and guidance.
Fortunately, there are tools to help you with this. Among other helpful products you may have found, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has published a COVID-19 Vaccination Tool Kit for Health Care Providers, which brings together evidence-based vaccine resources on COVID-19, authorized COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine safety and more. PHAC recently released an updated version of the tool kit, which features new resources including best practices for addressing vaccine hesitancy and vaccine pain mitigation strategies for adult patients.
Another toolkit created specifically for community-based primary care practices is available at https://covidtoolkit.ca/. It contains tools and resources to guide your team through every step of the vaccination process.
As a family physician you have worked hard to protect and promote the health of Canadians throughout this pandemic. Now you can help to protect people against COVID-19 by getting vaccinated and supporting patients and members of your community in doing the same.
We thank you for your relentless and incredible efforts, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Francine Lemire, MD MC, CCFP, FCFP, CAE, ICD.D
Executive Director and CEO
College of Family Physicians of Canada