Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

4,338 nurses have not been adequately vaccinated and 2,807 have not been vaccinated at all, according to the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec.

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The Quebec Order of Nurses says it will suspend licenses for nurses who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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Among the 80,500 nurses, 4,338 have not been adequately vaccinated. There are 2,807 nurses who have not been vaccinated at all and a further 1,531 who have received a dose, said Luc Mathieu, President of the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec.

Vaccination status for 5,716 other nurses has not yet been verified, he told Radio-Canada in an interview. These nurses will not be suspended until the order confirms their status.

About 15,000 health workers who are not fully vaccinated will be suspended without pay from Friday, warns Health Minister Christian Dubé.

Mathieu said nurses have a duty to protect the public and being vaccinated is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The suspensions and loss of pay will be enforced until the nurses provide proof that they have been adequately vaccinated.

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“They will have to live with the impact of not being vaccinated on time,” he said.

The decision to suspend nursing licenses was taken Friday after the order met with officials from the health department. Mathieu has warned ministry officials that suspending nurses could lead to disruptions in patient care.

Nurses who decide to be vaccinated this week will have to wait 21 days before they can receive another dose.

Some nurses thought Dubé was bluffing when he threatened to suspend unvaccinated health workers, Mathieu said, adding that many rushed to get their first dose after Quebec passed a decree approving the vaccine mandate.

The province is undergoing a major restructuring of its 330,000 health workers to address the shortage of workers.

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Dubé has proposed all professional orders in the healthcare sector that they suspend licenses for members who refuse to be vaccinated.

On Tuesday, a lawyer representing hundreds of health workers plans to file a motion asking the Superior Court to temporarily stop the government from continuing with the suspensions.

Natalia Manole said her clients feel they can still do their job safely and limit the spread of the virus if they are tested regularly. She says she hopes a judge will hear the case on Thursday, the day before the suspensions kick in.

There are countless reasons why her clients have not been vaccinated, she said in an interview Monday.

Some have treated patients who became ill after being vaccinated and are concerned about possible vaccine side effects. Others have already had COVID-19 and were not seriously ill, and some have treated COVID-19 patients in the hospital and have not infected the virus.

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“Our position is that they have the right to make decisions about their own body,” Manole said.

Many health professionals are “absolutely afraid” of being suspended without pay on Friday, she said.

“Most of them will not go back to health care if it stays (this way),” she said. “Some love their jobs and are dedicated; they work so many hours and shifts. ”

Manole claims that the nursing order has succumbed to pressure from the government and does not represent sufficiently unvaccinated health workers. “We are going to include (these) claims in our proposal,” she added.

Dubé took to Twitter on Monday, saying he welcomed the order’s position. “The signal is clear. It is not possible to circumvent the mandatory vaccination in the health network on 15 October. ”

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The Minister of Health called on nurses to be vaccinated as soon as possible. “It’s never too late.”

kwilton@postmedia.com

With files from Presse Canadienne

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