December 17, 2020

The CPA welcomed the news on December 9, 2020 that Health Canada approved the use of a vaccine to combat COVID-19 in Canada. This is an important milestone and the CPA recognizes the significant efforts of the scientific community world-wide in achieving this accomplishment so quickly. A safe and effective vaccine is a further tool to help protect the most vulnerable and the most exposed as we continue to live with COVID-19 in our communities.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is encouraging Canadians to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it is available to Canadians. Health Canada provides strong regulatory oversight to ensure the safety and efficacy of vaccines authorized for use in Canada. Vaccines are only approved after thorough, independent, scientific review and rigorous clinical trials. Along with infection control measures such as personal protective equipment (PPE), hand washing, and physical distancing, the vaccine is a further intervention that provides protection against the virus. Incorporating a safe and effective vaccine into our COVID-19 response further supports safe access to physiotherapy services.

The COVID-19 vaccination campaign is expected to be the largest inoculation campaign in Canada’s history and it will take months to complete. The CPA supports the recommendations by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) that priority should be given to those most at risk of severe illness and those most exposed due to their work, including health care workers. The CPA strongly recommends that governments make the vaccine available to all health care professionals, including physiotherapists and physiotherapist assistants, working in all settings of our health system (including acute care, long-term care, home care, and community-based settings), whether funded publicly or privately or through blended funding models as early as possible in the vaccine roll-out.  Access to safe and effective care that is essential to Canadians depends on all health care workers in all sectors.

While the federal government is responsible for procuring vaccines and the supplies needed to administer them, each province and territory is responsible for the distribution of vaccines within its region. Be sure to check your provincial college and Branch for the latest information related to the vaccine in your jurisdiction.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is turning to health care professionals to help spread the word to Canadians that safe and effective vaccines are one of the best ways to prevent serious illness, like COVID-19. The CPA is proud to support this call for Canadians to adopt this public health measure once it is made available and will provide members with the latest information, evidence, and messages from the Public Health Agency of Canada to support planning and interactions with patients. We will share updates and tools from PHAC through our COVID-19 website as they become available.

Resources

Public Health Agency of Canada: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines: Overview

World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Vaccines