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Should public health give up convincing the unvaccinated? | Coronavirus: Ontario


Since then, a series of measures have been taken to remedy the problem, including vaccination campaigns, some of which specifically target seasonal agricultural workers.

A few months later, the postcode starting with N8H in Leamington was among the postcodes with the lowest vaccination rates in the Windsor-Essex region, according to data from the local public health unit. (66%).

A situation that Nicole Dupuis, the director general of the Windsor-Essex health unit, cannot explain, given the efforts that have been invested to allow as many people as possible to be vaccinated.

A low wall announcing that Leamington is the tomato capital in Canada.

Leamington had struggled to stem the rise in COVID-19 cases, particularly in his agricultural sector.

Photo: Elvis Nouemsi Njiké

Across the Windsor-Essex region, approximately 50,000 people still have not been vaccinated. A situation that despairs the region’s medical officer of health, Dr Shanker Nesathurai.

We are going to do whatever we can to ensure that people have access to the vaccine. We can accommodate people, we can try to educate them, which we have done. We can dialogue. We can work with leaders in certain communities in particular, he explains.

But at the end of the day, the people who qualify must themselves choose to act, to get vaccinated.

A quote from Dr Shanker Nesathurai, Acting Medical Officer of Health, Windsor-Essex Health Unit

Dr Nesathurai believes that almost everything has been done by public health authorities to try to win over skeptics.

I have thought about it and discussed it with my colleagues. At this point, everyone in our health region, I believe, knows the benefits of vaccination, as well as the recommendations of public health and physicians., he says.

When the family is helpless

Mr. Nesathurai now relies on relatives of hesitant people to try to find the right formula.

I think that people who are not yet vaccinated, most of the time, are part of families. These are married people, these are people who have parents. I think that the dialogue must now take place in families or in a personal way […] between people who love each other, he says.

A man seated in front of a computer answers the journalist's questions.

Dr Shanker Nesathurai appeals to relatives of unvaccinated people.

Photo: Katerina Georgieva / CBC

He laments the fact that some people are still not resolved to listen to the advice of scientists, given the consequences that this stubbornness can have.

We can reiterate the fact that most deaths from COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex are insane. The people who died still had years of life ahead of them. They left behind families, children, he says.

The dialogue has to happen and it has to happen quickly because even if you get the vaccine today, it will be weeks before you can actually reap the full benefits of the vaccine.

A quote from Dr Shanker Nesathurai

This dialogue that Dr. Nesathurai calls for, however, may not be enough to convince some to go for the vaccine.

Robert Fox is a resident of Leamington. He is one of those who has not yet been vaccinated, despite the insistent demand of his relatives.

My two brothers have already received their two doses. They keep bugging me and ask me to do it too because they don’t want to get sick, he explains.

My brothers are doing well. They didn’t get sick, which makes me think I should probably take the plunge.

A quote from Robert Fox, resident of Leamington
A man standing in a street.

Robert Fox is still not sure if he wants to be vaccinated.

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Elvis Nouemsi Njiké

Despite what he himself says, Mr Fox is not sure he wants to get the vaccine anytime soon.

I should probably get the vaccine, but I’m undecided because I hear good and bad things [au sujet du vaccin], he says.

Disinformation at work

He thinks many other people like him fear what they see as the potential negative effects of the vaccine.

When I go to different places, people say there that soccer players are dying after receiving the vaccine. They are healthy people, you know, because they are athletes, he says.

According to Rose Arthurton, a hairstylist who currently works from home and shares the same zip code as Robert Fox, misinformation is wreaking havoc in the area.

Many people do not have the right information about vaccines. A lot of people don’t trust them. Sometimes religion is a factor. […] I know a lot of people who don’t trust the vaccine, she explains.

I have elderly clients so they are all vaccinated, but young people just don’t want to get vaccinated which is sad because this thing [la COVID-19] will not go away if we do not follow government and public health recommendations.

A quote from Rose Arthurton, Leamington resident

She says that young people are among the people who are most reluctant to be vaccinated without being able to explain the reason.

A woman standing in front of a door.

Rose Arthurton believes public health has already done all it can to convince skeptics.

Photo: Elvis Nouemsi Njiké

Ms. Arthuton fears that vaccination rates will not improve in her sector, considering that everything has already been done, particularly in terms of public health, to encourage people to be vaccinated.

I believe they [la santé publique] tried to explain, to hammer home the fact that you have to get the vaccine, but people don’t want to do it, especially in this area. […] Even nurses don’t want to be vaccinated and that’s another problem, she says.

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