Ontario hopes that family doctors will be able to reach people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19


As Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage rate shows signs of stabilizing, the province is seeking help from a family doctor.

Approximately 78% of Ontario adults received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but this number has increased by only three percentage points in the past three weeks.

In order to vaccinate the rest of the population as much as possible, the health care industry generally believes that the involvement of family doctors is essential.

Dr. Liz Muggah, Dean of the Ontario College of Family Physicians, said that this is because many unvaccinated people have questions that need to be answered by trusted medical sources, or do not want to go to mass vaccination sites or pharmacies for vaccinations.

“The combination provided by family doctors: trusted people who know their medical history and where they feel comfortable with vaccination. Together, these two things really mean that we can play a very important role to help promote dial-up to herd immunity,” Muga said in an interview on Wednesday.

Dr. Liz Muggah, Dean of the Ontario College of Family Physicians, said family doctors can help “promote” herd immunity in the province. To date, 78% of adults in the province have been vaccinated against COVID-19. (Provided /OCFP)

Although the Provincial Department of Health cannot provide any specific numbers, it is clear that the practice of family doctors only accounts for a small fraction of the 16.1 million doses in Ontario to date.

“From the beginning, family doctors across the province have been saying,’Please vaccinate us. We are experts in this area. We want to do this. Our patients tell us that they want to get vaccinated in the office,'” Mu Add.

“So far, our office does not have enough vaccines to meet the needs we have seen from patients. So I absolutely hope that when we enter the final stage of vaccination, more vaccines will come to us.”

Ontario is not the only country that rarely provides vaccines to family doctors.

Manitoba has provided vaccines in the following locations More than 50 family doctor clinicsIn Alberta, despite the promise that family doctors can administer thousands of injections in their offices every day, the province’s pilot project has expanded to only 60 clinics.

Other provinces have almost completely avoided providing vaccine doses to family doctors. This is partly due to initial concerns about whether the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine meets cold storage requirements, which accounts for the majority of Canadian injections.

Ontario has always relied on mass vaccination clinics to manage most of its COVID-19 vaccine doses, but family doctors stated that many of their patients do not want to face a lineup of clinics like this at Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park Community Center Health Center in April. (Alan Harbick/CBC)

Family doctors and other primary care providers in Ontario have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in approximately 700 primary care and community settings, said Alexandra Hilkene, spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott. (There are more than 15,000 family doctors in Ontario, some of whom have participated in mass vaccination clinics.)

In a statement provided to CBC News, Silken said: “The public health department continues to provide additional primary care facilities to manage vaccines.” “As we continue to work harder to vaccinate to reach patients and combat vaccine hesitation. , Primary care providers will play a greater role in vaccinating Ontario people.”

Most family doctors in Ontario will receive a list of all patients who have received the COVID-19 vaccine later this month, whether it is one or two doses. The Ontario Ministry of Health, a provincial agency, requires doctors to contact patients whose names are not on the list.

Dr. David Kaplan, director of clinical quality at the Ontario Department of Health, said the idea is that family doctors can help overcome hesitation by answering questions still raised by unvaccinated patients about the COVID vaccine.

“Who can build this confidence better than a primary care provider who has a life-long relationship with these patients?” he said in an interview.

Kaplan also works as a family doctor in North York, and he said that talking to patients about their immune problems—from childhood diseases such as measles to diseases that affect the elderly, such as shingles—is something that family doctors do every day.

He said: “We are used to having these conversations with some hesitant patients and really build their confidence to know why vaccination is important and what happens.” “I think this is really important for many patients. . They are just worried about what will happen.”

In Ontario, the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rate belongs to the youngest eligible age group. According to data released by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, about 67% of people aged 18 to 29 received at least one dose, and 59% of young people aged 12 to 17.

Family doctors say that young patients are generally worried that the vaccine will affect their fertility, although there are There is no evidence that this is the case.

Muggah, who practices in the Bruyère Family Health Team in Ottawa, said she tried to ask every patient she met—regardless of the nature of the appointment—whether they had an injection.

The President of the Ontario Medical Association, Dr. Adam Kassam, said that family doctors will be particularly helpful in ensuring that people aged 12 to 17 are vaccinated against COVID-19. (Submit/OMA)

“If they are not vaccinated, for me, this is indeed a conversation that must be carried out with great sympathy and curiosity,” she said. “You can’t assume why someone might not be ready to be vaccinated.”

Muggah said that the anti-vaccine hesitation “is more than just giving someone a lot of information. It really requires meeting with that person, digging into their causes, and solving them.”

The President of the Ontario Medical Association, Dr. Adam Kassam, said that family doctors are particularly important in ensuring vaccination coverage for the 12 to 17-year-old age group.

“We encourage anyone who is still hesitant or still in doubt to contact their family doctor and contact their pediatrician to get the best information to make an informed decision,” he said.



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