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Covid-19: Questions and Answers on Vaccination

Vaccination

Covid-19: Questions and Answers on Vaccination

We know that the key to getting back to normal life depends on vaccination. Collective immunity will then allow a decrease in cases, hospitalizations and deaths associated with Covid-19. As an employer, what do you need to know about vaccination? Here are some answers to your questions.

Can we force our employees to be vaccinated?

In an article published in La Presse on December 7th, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported “that vaccination against Covid-19 should not be made compulsory, except in specific professional circumstances“.[1]  According to the WHO, it is best to explain the benefits of the vaccine and try to convince people of the benefits of vaccination.

This is also the opinion of Me Marianne Plamondon and Me Philippe Bélisle presented in an article published on the Langlois Avocats LinkedIn page on December 20th. Legally, only employees whose professional requirements justify it will have to undergo the procedure and be vaccinated.

What are the risks of vaccination for your employees?

Journalist Louise Leduc of La Presse spoke to Dr. Anne Gatignol, professor, and virologist at McGill University, to answer the question. For this specialist, “the benefits of receiving the vaccine far outweigh the risks”. [2]  She also adds that RNA technology is already used in humans in oncology, while specifying that zero risk does not exist.

Same story with Olivier Bernard, know as the ‘’Pharmachien”, recipient of the John Maddox Prize in 2019: “It would be wrong, and irresponsible, to claim that vaccines cannot cause even serious side effects. But when a vaccine is put on the market, it is because its benefits are deemed to far outweigh the possible risks. “[3]

What actions should companies take?

First, remind workers of their responsibilities in complying with the sanitary measures you have put in place. A CNESST conference is available online for workers to solicit their commitment to the battle against the virus. You will also find other initiatives in the CNESST Covid-19 Kit.

Another action that we can never repeat often enough: communication, communication, communication. The National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) has prepared and published a guide to help you determine the communication strategies to put in place in order to promote preventive behavior.

Finally, think about the measures that you can and will be able to put in place to facilitate the vaccination of your workers when the time comes. You can find the group prioritization list determined by the government and public health here.

However, combined efforts are still needed before achieving collective immunity and returning to normal life. It is by sticking together and showing kindness to one another that we will get through this last and final stage of the health crisis.

By Mélanie Gauthier, CRHA – Human Resources Consultant

HR Blog Writer – Iceberg Management

[1] Agence France-Presse (2020, 7 décembre).  « L’OMS s’oppose à la vaccination obligatoire ». La Presse. Récupéré de https://www.lapresse.ca/international/2020-12-07/covid-19/l-oms-s-oppose-a-la-vaccination-obligatoire.php

[2] Leduc, L. (15 décembre 2020). « Les craintes du vaccin sont-elles justifiées ? », La Presse. Récupéré de https://www.lapresse.ca/covid-19/2020-12-15/les-craintes-du-vaccin-sont-elles-justifiees.php

[3] Bernard, O. (3 novembre 2013). « 5 opinions mal informées au sujet des vaccins », Le Pharmachien. Récupéré de https://lepharmachien.com/vaccins/?fbclid=IwAR3ECfAHLRD5igfrOcHi5IphAsv4DZgGQdF3EBK1-6C0OTFIcVugfBj88jY