“Rural health care workers are a high‐risk population for exposure to and therefore transmission of this virus,” states the Society of the Rural Physicians of Canada. Photo: Daniel Schludi/Unsplash

“Rural health care workers are a high‐risk population for exposure to and therefore transmission of this virus,” states the Society of the Rural Physicians of Canada. Photo: Daniel Schludi/Unsplash

Support for mandatory COVID vaccinations for Canadian healthcare workers

Statement from the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada

The Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Nurses Association issued a statement on August 3, 2021, calling for mandatory COVID‐19 vaccinations for all health care workers.

The Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC) supports this statement.

Rural health care workers are a high‐risk population for exposure to and therefore transmission of this virus.

Many rotate daily between hospitals, long‐term care centers, home care, and clinics.

Although these healthcare workers are vigilant to keep the risk of transmission to a minimum, mandatory vaccinations would substantially decrease the risk to rural communities.

These communities are dependent upon a small number of physicians and other medical staff who work in high‐risk environments.

Several communities in Canada are now experiencing the fourth wave of COVID‐19.

Our already understaffed rural workforce cannot afford to lose staff members, which is a distinct possibility due to the significant number of rural Canadians who remain unvaccinated.

In many rural areas, the loss of even one rural physician due to the COVID‐19 infection could be catastrophic for local health care.

SRPC strongly believes that it is imperative for the well‐being of all Canadians that the vaccine is mandatory for all health care workers and highly recommended for the remaining population.

Jennifer Barr,

Chief Operating Officer

Society of Rural Physicians of Canada

Letter to the Editor