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Long-term care association joins RNs in calling for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines

Concern raised over growing number of variant cases and possibility of a fourth wave of the pandemic
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Another major health care organization in Ontario is urging the provincial government to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for health-care workers. 

The latest call has come from the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA), which issued a statement on Tuesday saying the evidence is clear that the best way to protect one's self and others from "the devastating effects" of COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. The statement was released under the name of Donna Duncan, the CEO of the OLTCA.

It was in mid-July that the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) put out the call for Queen's Park to make vaccines mandatory for nurses and other health care workers. 

The RNAO said it was worried about the growing number of COVID variants and said the safest way to beat the threats was through a full vaccination campaign, especially for health-care workers who come into direct contact with patients.

The OLTCA statement echoed that concern.

"In light of growing concerns about the Delta variant and a fourth wave of the pandemic in the fall, the Ontario Long Term Care Association is asking the Ontario Government to mandate COVID-19 vaccines not only for the long-term care staff, but for all health care workers in all settings to help protect our communities."

The statement said mandatory vaccines would also provide additional protection for nursing home staff members in the event of the predicted fourth wave of the pandemic. 

The statement also called on the province to begin an investigation into the idea of having a third vaccine, or a booster shot, for those who are already double-dose vaccinated such as patients, essential care givers and health care staff.