Vaccinations rate climbing at health alliance
By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A total of 94 per cent of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance employees are either partially or fully vaccinated.
Alliance president and CEO Lori Marshall announced last week on a media call that 87 per cent of staff have received both shots, with an additional seven per cent having received a first dose.
The number of physicans that have taken the shot is 96 per cent.
The hospital recently adopted a policy mandating all employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Oct. 31.
Marshall said a review is underway to examine why some employees remain unvaccinated and to determine the outcomes if some staff remain unvaccinated.
The news comes on the heels of recent action at two Windsor hospitals whereby 172 employees were suspended without pay after failing to meet the organization’s vaccine mandate deadline.
Marshall said CKHA is “not at that stage yet.” The hospital is still in the assessment process, she said, adding there is a small number of employees “who don’t believe there is a risk.”
Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby explained that vaccination offers the best protection against COVID-19.
While many anti-vaxxers maintain you can get the virus and pass it on even if you get the shot, Colby said there’s plenty of scientific evidence backing the vaccine’s benefits.
Colby said the majority of COVID-19 patients in hospital are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
He said studies also show that vaccinated people who do contract COVID-19 shed less virus for a shorter period of time than the unvaccinated.
The Ontario Science Table reported that you are 42 times less likely to be hospitalized if you are vaccinated.
Colby said the virus isn’t like a football you grab and throw to pass it on.
“You have to catch the infection in order to transmit it to others,” he said, adding taking the shot greatly lessens the chance of contracting COVID-19 and the virus has nowhere to go.
Colby said Chatham-Kent is currently a “hotspot” for the virus but he’s hopeful the current wave may have peaked locally.