The NSNU is encouraging members and others to receive the vaccine to protect themselves, their families, their colleagues, their vulnerable patients/residents/ clients, and the general public. As such, we have produced a series of video testimonials and social media shareables.
While the NSNU believes that any risk posed by the vaccine is outweighed by the benefits, the NSNU does not support mandatory vaccination programs.
The approval process in Canada is safe and effective. The assessment of scientific and clinical evidence is done independently by Health Canada; this process is known to be stringent and provides assurance that the vaccine is safe for distribution to the public.
Employers, working in conjunction with nurses, have a role to play in educating nurses, other health care workers and the general public about the benefits of vaccination. While vaccination plays a significant role in infection prevention, it is only one element of a larger plan.
Employers must have a comprehensive infectious disease prevention and control plan that includes adequate staffing, reducing hospital overcrowding, sufficient handwashing stations, isolating those with infectious diseases within facilities, and readily accessible appropriate PPE.
Members with questions or concerns about the vaccine are encouraged to reach out to the NSNU, seek out information and consult with their health care provider. For nurses who are unable to receive the vaccine, we recommend that they contact the NSNU to speak with their union representative.
Access to Immunization for Nurses
February 22, 2021
Dear NSNU Member,
Since Nova Scotia first announced that the COVID-19 vaccine rollout was to get underway, nurses have been eager to get the shot. Our members were some of the first to step up, exhibiting courage and leadership in the path of adversity.
Vaccine hesitancy has not been pervasive within the nursing community, but for individuals who question whether getting immunized is safe and effective, nurses have been role models and knowledge leaders. Nurses continue to champion public health directives, including immunization, while providing excellence in care and innovation for those in need.
At a time when nurses could have been celebrating the Year of the Nurse, our profession was called upon to demonstrate precisely why 2020 was awarded that distinction. We modified our practice and daily routines. In some cases, nurses volunteered to venture outside their comfort zone, entering unchartered territory and assuming new challenges. All the while, this global crisis unapologetically unbalanced both our work and personal lives.
Clearly, we want the vaccine in order to protect ourselves so that we can safely be there for our patients, residents and clients, as well as our family and friends. We must be healthy and able to do our jobs without the worry of inadvertently transmitting illness to those we love or those in our care – sometimes one in the same.
Your calls to the NSNU regarding the vaccine rollout have not fallen on deaf ears. We are inspired by the number of nurses who want to receive the vaccine and the urgency in which you are prepared to roll up your sleeves.
The Nurses’ Union is a strong advocate for you, your safety and your rights. While our desire is to see all nurses across all sectors and designations immunized as quickly as possible, determining or influencing the priority list is outside our purview.
Due to issues beyond the control of the chain of command, vaccine supply falls woefully short of the demand. Thus far, close to 8,000 healthcare workers in Nova Scotia have received the full vaccine with thousands more waiting patiently for the call. Based on public health projections, all remaining healthcare workers (including nurses) will receive their vaccine in Phase 2, expected to begin in April.
Until that time, we’ll remain vigilant, adhere to our safety protocols at home and at work, practice self-care, and support one another.
I thank you for your dedication, perseverance, resilience and hopefulness. There is a light at the end of this dark tunnel.
The vaccine is coming. Until then, stay safe.
Janet Hazelton, NSNU President
COVID-19 Vaccine Tracking
mRNA Vaccine Safety
mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19, and therefore cannot make someone sick with the novel coronavirus.
Learn more about mRNA vaccines on the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Download and Share
Use the hashtags #ImmunizetoNormalize and #COVID19Vaccine to join the conversation online.
COVID-19 Video Testimonials