Health Care Workers and COVID Vaccination: What Moe Doesn’t Know
March 24, 2021
Saskatoon, Sask – SEIU-West members are shocked and angered by Premier Scott Moe’s misleading claims about the ability and willingness of health care workers (HCWs) to receive a COVID vaccination.
During a March 23 news conference Moe claimed that 57% of HCWs who were eligible under Phase 1 had taken the vaccine, but that he wished more would do so.
“Let’s set the record straight,” says Barb Cape, President of SEIU-West. “The fact is that only 60% of our 47,000 Saskatchewan health care workers have been offered the vaccine in Phase 1. If all health care providers in all areas of the health care system had been offered a vaccine in Phase 1 there would be higher percentages.”
“There have been repeated requests from SEIU-West and Saskatchewan Health Authority managers to expand the priority list to include screening staff; lab staff; and home care staff. Premier Moe has ignored health care providers in home care and in hospitals since the beginning of this pandemic.”
While vaccines for Long-Term Care staff and residents have been at the forefront, hospital workers who work in patient registration, housekeeping, labs, security, screening, and even people working in vaccine clinics have been left out of the plan.
“We’ve been saying from the beginning of the rollout that all health care providers should be offered the vaccine in Phase 1,” continues Cape. “And this position is supported by the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).”
SEIU-West members have been engaged in a campaign to gain public support for all health care workers to be included in Phase 1 of the vaccine roll out.
“The fact that people who are interacting with the public in their homes or in health care facilities and providing care to both COVID and non-COVID patients on a regular basis have not been offered the vaccine is abhorrent and ignores guidelines and advice from the experts,” adds Cape. “The clear lack of respect for the health and well-being of front line health care workers is despicable and flies in the face of their ‘essential worker’ status.”
Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West) represents over 13,000 people across Saskatchewan. They include people who work in health care, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors. They are united by one colour – purple – and one union – SEIU-West. Visit PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about SEIU-West members.
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