Prioritize Communications and Coordination in Phase 2 of Ontario’s vaccine distribution planMarch 5, 2021
(Toronto – March 4, 2021) – The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released the following statement in reaction to the Government of Ontario announcing the second phase of their vaccination plan.
“As COVID-19 vaccine deployment and distribution ramps up across the province, building trust and confidence in vaccines will be critical for the health of Ontarians and for our economic recovery,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “We are asking the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force to prioritize clear and consistent communication and coordination in the second phase of their vaccination plan.”
The OCC recently wrote to Ontario’s Health Minister Christine Elliott outlining five recommendations from its Health Policy Council around the vaccine roll-out and distribution in Ontario.
- Prioritize communications. Ontarians have many questions about the vaccine. Clear communications are critical so not to overwhelm our primary care providers and regulated health professionals at a time when the system is facing numerous press
- Address vaccine hesitancy and build vaccine literacy. As the province continues its vaccination efforts, it must tackle vaccine hesitancy and build Ontarians’ vaccine literacy.
- Leverage the private sector. While the first phase of the pandemic saw the province leverage the private sector to gather personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies, the province should now leverage the private sector to aid in the deployment and distribution of vaccines.
- This week, the OCC’s Ontario Vaccination Support Council launched an online portal to connect Ontario’s public health units with private sector organizations offering local support.
- Ensure physicians are integrated into the vaccine roll-out plan. For Ontario’s vaccine rollout to be successful, it is crucial that physicians be consulted and integrated into all phases of the planning process.
- Be proactive, where possible. The province should take a proactive approach by determining the feasibility, as well as legal and ethical considerations, around vaccine passports. The province should also begin planning how it will go about vaccinating children when an approved vaccine for kids under the age of 16 becomes available.
“The OCC continues to call on the Province for clarity on the concrete milestones that trigger lockdown or extension, and improved communications to the business community, added Rossi.
“Many business owners are frustrated because they do not understand what milestones are triggering a lockdown or extension. There is no easy on or off switch for employers; the lack of clarity and predictability in government decisions makes it difficult for Ontario businesses to plan effectively and invest in the necessary infrastructure for a safe re-opening.”
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.
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