Advocates call for accessible COVID-19 vaccine plan for migrant farm workers in Ontario

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Sumary of Advocates call for accessible COVID-19 vaccine plan for migrant farm workers in Ontario:

  • Advocates are raising concerns about temporary migrant workers not having timely access to information about Ontario plan to offer them COVID-19 vaccines..
  • A recent letter from a group of medical experts and community service providers outlined some of the issues raised by temporary workers involved in early vaccination efforts, including both lack of notice and opportunities to discuss the process with health professionals..
  • Some workers did not receive a consent form, the letter said, and others were told their decision about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine could affect their future employment..
  • “The power imbalance between employers and migrant workers in Ontario agriculture presents unique challenges to obtaining informed consent,”.
  • Ontario government considering vaccinating migrant farm workers on arrival The letter from the Migrant Worker Health Expert Working Group was sent to public health units covering major farming communities in Ontario..
  • Among the group recommendations was including access to consultation with a health professional, advanced notice, language assistance and guaranteed freedom from reprisal..
  • Stephanie Mayell, a group member and health researcher who helped draft the recommendations, said there must be time built in to ensure workers receive culturally sensitive and accessible information..
  • “That something that seems obvious, but it really difficult, I think, for public health units to think about everything,”.
  • Protesters push Ottawa to protect migrant workers – Jul 4, 2020 Some 20,000 temporary foreign workers are employed on Ontario farms each year..
  • The mass outbreaks on farms prompted some health units to start offering COVID-19 vaccines to temporary workers ahead of the provincial schedule..
  • In Niagara Region, a pilot project administered 316 shots to workers in late March, with plans to ramp up vaccinations this week..
  • A statement from the health unit said the local COVID-19 vaccination task force “has prioritized this sector for shots based on the local risk and the pressure it places on local health and public health services.”.
  • In Haldimand-Norfolk, 340 farm workers had received a dose of the vaccine as of Tuesday and 260 more were scheduled to be vaccinated by the end of the week..
  • Windsor could close migrant farm worker isolation hotel, warns of funding shortfall Health units in Windsor-Essex County and Lambton County said they were still developing plans to vaccinate migrant workers..
  • Ontario has now entered the second phase of its vaccine rollout, which prioritizes temporary migrant workers because they live in congregate settings considered high-risk for COVID-19 spread, and cannot work from home..
  • Migrant Worker Health Expert Working Group Now said it is in contact with public health units with large agricultural sectors to ensure proper communication is in place…

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