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Alberta doctors call for mandatory vaccination of health workers; 629 new COVID-19 cases confirmed

Click to play video: 'Alberta Medical Association pushes for mandatory vaccines for healthcare workers' Alberta Medical Association pushes for mandatory vaccines for healthcare workers
WATCH: In the fourth wave of COVID-19, the Alberta Medical Association is pushing for all healthcare workers to be vaccinated. The AMA says the move is to not only protect staff but also vulnerable patients. AMA president Dr. Paul Boucher joins Global News at Noon with more – Aug 25, 2021

The Alberta Medical Association (AMA) is calling for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination of all health-care workers in the province.

Its call joins similar ones from the Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Nurses Association and other doctor associations in Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia.

“As we look back on the outbreaks experienced in health care settings and face the prospect of a fourth wave with more contagious variants, mandatory vaccination of health-care workers is essential,” AMA president Paul Boucher wrote on Tuesday. “It will help protect our patients, staff and colleagues.”

Read more: Alberta confirms 1,972 new COVID-19 cases, 5 deaths over 3 days

In an email, a spokesperson for Health Minister Tyler Shandro told Global News the province has no plans to make vaccination mandatory.

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Instead, the province is urging all Albertans to get vaccinated and has made the shots available at locations like AHS clinics, pharmacies, doctors’ offices and mobile clinics.

Click to play video: 'The legality of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace' The legality of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace
The legality of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace – Aug 24, 2021

Read more: Fans attending Oilers games at Rogers Place must provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test

The call comes on the same day Alberta announced it had identified 629 new COVID-19 cases in the province.

With 6,010 tests completed on Monday, Alberta’s positivity rate surpassed 10 per cent.

There are now 7,931 active cases in the province: 2,468 in the Edmonton zone and 2,422 in the Calgary zone.

Read more: Vaccine passports: Alberta’s MyHealth Records could be ‘a challenge,’ experts say

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Elsewhere across the province, there are 794 active cases in the Central zone, 989 in the South zone, 1,241 in the North zone and 17 active cases not affiliated to a specific zone.

There are now 258 people in hospital with COVID-19, up from 244 on Monday, and 57 of those are in intensive care.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health shared on Twitter that 80.6 per cent of the non-ICU patients in hospital are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. Of the 57 in ICU, 96.6 per cent are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

 

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“Having both doses of vaccine has shown to be very effective at protecting us and our families from COVID-19,” Hinshaw wrote.

“Here in Alberta, we are seeing up to 93 per cent effectiveness against variants of concern for those who are fully vaccinated.”

You can book a free vaccine appointment here.

Read more: Nurses, doctors struggle with low morale during 4th COVID-19 wave: ‘Everybody is shattered’

Seven new deaths were also recorded, bringing the total number of Albertans who have died of the coronavirus to 2,355.

Alberta’s vaccination rate continues to lag most other provinces, at only 68.9 per cent of those eligible being fully vaccinated with two doses. A single dose has been administered to 77.4 per cent of eligible Albertans.

Since the start of the pandemic, 245,598 people in the province have tested positive for COVID-19 and 235,312 have recovered.

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