SMA calls for mandatory vaccines for all healthcare workers in Saskatchewan

The provincial government is being called on to make vaccines mandatory for all healthcare workers by the Saskatchewan Medical Association.

The call comes as Saskatchewan deals with what appears to be the beginning of the fourth wave of COVID-19.

President Dr. Eben Strydom says to put it simply, vaccines work.

“It’s safe, it protects, it has saved many lives, and we think that mandatory vaccination is an appropriate measure at this time.”

Dr. Strydom says there’s a large risk to those who are not vaccinated.

“With the fourth wave that’s looming, we’re just worried about this new, more contagious variants of concern that’s lingering and we know vaccination is the best course of action that’s available to us,” Dr. Strydom said. “Given the importance of protecting our patients, our vulnerable populations, our system, it’s essential that we prepare and protect healthcare workers and out healthcare capacity.”

Dr. Strydom says while it’s important for all healthcare workers to get both doses, it’s also critical for normal residents to get theirs as well.

“We have an uphill battle in the health system to do the normal work and this extra load that comes with pandemic-related illness is a big load on the system,” Dr. Strydom said. “Our waiting list is getting longer, patients have bad outcomes because the cannot get in, access is problematic.”

It is not known exactly how many healthcare workers remain unvaccinated at this time. Dr. Strydom is advising all residents to keep up their public health measures as cases start to pick up, including wearing a mask in indoor public spaces, social distancing and good hand hygiene.

More from Play92