CALGARY – Dozens of doctors have signed an open letter to Alberta’s premier begging the government to implement a vaccine passport.
BREAKING: Open letter to @jkenney, signed by 65 Infectious Diseases physicians across Alberta, calling for immediate enactment of province-wide restrictions of access for unimmunized individuals to indoor public spaces for the purpose of accessing non-essential businesses pic.twitter.com/7hfUgoUUyj
— Ilan Schwartz MD PhD (@GermHunterMD) September 13, 2021
Sixty-five infectious disease doctors have signed the letter urging Jason Kenney, Health Minister Tyler Shandro, and Dr. Deena Hinshaw to restrict unvaccinated Albertans’ access to non-essential public indoor spaces.
“This measure can immediately decrease new infections, thereby alleviating pressure on hospitals while avoiding widespread lockdown now and in the future,” reads the letter.
The province’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have skyrocketed as of late with Alberta Health Services cancelling or delaying surgeries in an attempt to free up beds for those in need of urgent care.
Doctors say in the letter that the number of ICU patients exceeds the number of fully staffed beds.
“At the current rate, the number of COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU (90 per cent of whom are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated) will double every two weeks. Our healthcare system is truly on the precipice of collapse.”
The letter goes on to say that health measures currently in place in Alberta are not enough to interrupt and reduce transmission.
The province said last week that it would wait to see the impact of current measures–a mask mandate and an early liquor service cut-off– before it decides if more interventions are needed.
Doctors say that’s not good enough.
“It is our opinion that the current state of healthcare capacity in Alberta is so dire that waiting to see the results of current, less stringent measures will result in devastating consequences, further comprising our ability to care for Albertans with any medical conditions.”
In the letter, doctors say a vaccine passport would protect those who choose to remain unvaccinated while providing a stronger incentive for vaccination.
Leaving businesses and schools to decide on implementing their own vaccination requirements leaves many confused over inconsistent rules, the letter says.
“These must be mandated by the provincial government as is being done in nearly all other Canadian jurisdictions,” doctors say.