We, the medical doctors of your community, are writing this open letter because of the low vaccination rate in the Cornwall region. COVID-19 immunization rates far below the Ontario and Canadian averages are resulting in a high number of COVID-19 cases. While the Ottawa area experiences relief from COVID-19 due to excellent vaccine uptake, the Cornwall Community Hospital is now in crisis.
Non-emergency surgeries are being cancelled. These procedures are still important. Many of our patients, family members and loved ones are waiting in pain, living with uncertainty, and suffering due to the delay of their needed care.
COVID-19 patients tend to need a lot of intense care. They often require life sustaining ventilators, supplementary oxygen and expensive medications. They spend long times in the hospital as recovery is slow, and this stretches the hospital’s resources beyond capacity.
The great majority of our COVID-19 patients in the Intensive Care Unit and medical floors are unvaccinated. In general, people who are vaccinated don’t get sick at all, and if they do their illness is much milder. They are also much less likely to transmit the disease to others. Getting the vaccination rates up would result in lower hospital occupancy and return our ability to provide essential care for other medical problems.
The COVID-19 vaccinations used in Canada are some of the best studied, safest and most effective vaccines in medical history. Millions of doses administered worldwide have established effectiveness and safety.
Please do your part and get the COVID-19 vaccine. Getting the vaccine protects you, the community, your loved ones and your hospital. Help us get back to our usual work taking care of this wonderful community by getting the vaccine as soon as possible.
Here’s how you can get vaccinated against COVID-19:
- Find a participating pharmacy near you: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations
- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit offers several local COVID-19 vaccination clinics: www.eohu.ca/en/covid/list-of-upcoming-covid-19-vaccination-clinics
- Make a vaccination appointment over the phone: 1-833-943-3900
With our best wishes for your good health,
Dr. Lorne Scharf, Chief of Staff, Cornwall Community Hospital
Dr. Neil Davis, President of Medical Staff, Cornwall Community Hospital
Dr. Paul Westergaard, COVID Medical Lead, Cornwall Community Hospital
We the undersigned unanimously support the above statements:
Dr. A. Boubalos, Dr. D. Galley, Dr. A. Cook, Dr. D. Bishop, Dr. A. Ciarallo, Dr. G. Abikhzer, Dr. M. Vakili, Dr. T. Assaly, Dr. A. Alsahka, Dr. A. Rosenbloom, Dr. A. Burga, Dr. A. Gibson, Dr. R. Reddoch, Dr. C. Lemire, Dr. C. Lamfookon, Dr. G. Belanger, Dr. J. van Hees, Dr. J. Bourcier, Dr. Q. Ton-That, Dr. A. Arab, Dr. J.G. Leduc, Dr. J. Hoang, Dr. M. Yu, Dr. R. Givari, Dr. D. Volochniouk, Dr. M. Yazdan, Dr. S. Dayal, Dr. J.E. Augustin, Dr. D. Nadkarni, Dr. O. Dehinbo, Dr. S. Pierre, Dr. I. Kirtsman, Dr. L. Nchama, Dr. Z. AlSani, Dr. C. Raynor, Dr. R.D. Tombler, Dr. G. Weinberg, Dr. L. Stephens, Dr. M. Elkurbo, Dr. R. Sharda, Dr. R. Yao, Dr. S. Naoum, Dr. A. Shahnavaz, Dr. Y. Dang , Dr. T. Youssef, Dr. A. Zaid, Dr. A. Blinkina, Dr. D. Peffer, Dr. C. Miller, Dr. P. Antunes, Dr. C. Zerey, Dr. M. Faizer, Dr. V. Carter, Dr. A. Davis, Dr. D. Blackburn, Dr. M. Yitemben, Dr. J. Ross, Dr. H. Ghomeshi, Dr. R. Hendy, Dr. D. Riddell, Dr. Ronald Tremblay, Dr. Roger Tremblay, Dr. P. Sharda, Dr. C. Leigh, Dr. J. Toop, Dr. S. Patel, Dr. H. William, Dr. R. Banik, Dr. Y. Ghantous, Dr. B. Patterson, Dr. A. Di Cintio, Dr. N. Menard, Dr. L.S. Gnanaraj, Dr. M. Smar, Dr. D. Ducas, Dr. C. Millman, Dr. J.P. DeYoung, Dr. E. Ghaly, Dr. M.S. Reen