THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) develops and implements a plan to empower registered nurses (RN), nurse practitioners (NP), and nursing students to promote the importance of vaccines and address vaccine hesitancy across the lifespan as well as among health professionals to increase vaccine knowledge and uptake within communities.
As health-care professionals, RNs and NPs have harnessed public trust during the COVID-19 pandemic in addressing vaccine hesitancy and promoting vaccine confidence. RNAO has been a powerful messenger of evidence-based information respecting COVID-19 vaccination, providing members and the general public with credible resources.
- RNAO participated in a collective effort to develop a comprehensive information resource tool on COVID-19 vaccines, led by the Centre for Effective Practice.
- RNAO hosted a webinar titled, COVID-19 Vaccine: A game changer in February, 2021, with Dr. Cora Constantinescu, a pediatric infectious disease specialist. Dr. Constantinescu and RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun discussed the critical importance of effective vaccine communication and the need to empower health-care professionals to talk about the COVID-19 vaccine with patients, colleagues, family and friends.
- RNAO staff met with the resolution authors to explore how the resolution had taken on greater importance and potential impacts given the pandemic and the mass COVID-19 vaccination program underway in Ontario and around the world.
- RNAO staff members have consistently engaged in one-on-one conversations with members, responding to their inquiries.
- Vaccine hesitance and confidence have also been discussed in our CEO’s COVID-19 blog going out to over 300,000 health professionals, politicians and the media at home and abroad. The topic has been addressed also in the association’s Registered Nurse Journal, reaching RNAO’s 46,000 + members across the province as well as their personal and professional networks.
- RNAO members and grassroots groups have engaged RNAO in COVID-19 vaccine uptake and other initiatives to address marginalization and exclusion. RNAO has supported grant applications for community groups who serve Black, Caribbean and African communities. To address the inequity and disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minority communities, RNAO is working with the Black Physicians Association of Ontario (BPAO) on the Black Health Vaccine Initiative, which aims to advocate, educate and vaccinate people in Ontario’s Black communities.
- RNAO and many of our board members, assembly of leaders, and staff have been avid social media champions providing facts and creating vaccine excitement.
No known conflict of interest