On Wednesday December 9th Health Canada authorized the first Covid-19 vaccine
for distribution in Canada. I say first, because there are several other vaccine candidates that could also receive approval in future and become available alongside the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Health Canada’s chief medical advisor Dr. Supriya Sharma characterized the announcement as a momentous occasion.
CCO members are reminded as per CCO Standard of Practice S-001: Chiropractic Scope of Practice
and the Professional Advisory on Vaccination and Immunization
that treating or advising in relation to vaccination is outside of the chiropractic scope of practice. This of course applies in equal measure to the new category of approved Covid-19 vaccines. Members must not express views, treat or advise patients or prospective patients with respect to vaccination, including providing information on vaccination on their websites or social media accounts
. I am confident that CCO’s Quality Assurance Committee will review Standard of Practice S-001 as part of its regular review of standards and will recommend any revisions to Council as required and appropriate.
It is a minute number of Ontario’s 5100 registered chiropractors who are the subject of complaints regarding vaccination claims. In fact, according to a nationwide study
published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal last May, in their initial study period (2016) researchers found only 94 unique websites maintained by all Canadian chiropractors provided information on vaccination. Of these 94 sites, 63 per cent were critical of vaccination, 20 per cent were neutral, and the rest (17 per cent) were supportive. When the researchers revisited these same sites in 2019, more than half of the initially identified content had been removed. While not designed to attribute causality, the study’s authors did note CCO’s introduction of our Professional Advisory (linked above) during this study period.
I am sure there will be much public discussion in the coming months about Covid-19 vaccines, the quantities received, and how they are distributed etc. It is only to be expected after these many months of disruption, loss and sacrifice in all our personal and professional lives. The Health Canada announcement this week represents a beginning, but the road ahead is long, and significant challenges remain. The public interest in Ontario will continue to be served by members providing safe and effective chiropractic care, by observing all Ministry and CCO guidelines and directives.
The profession in Ontario has done remarkably well during this global health crisis and I thank all of you for your ongoing diligence, perseverance and commitment to providing high quality, ethical care to the public of Ontario. As the health landscape continues to evolve, you have my ongoing commitment to communicate with all of you in a timely, focused way on all matters related to CCO’s public interest mandate.
Thank you for continuing to be engaged in the regulation of the chiropractic profession and for demonstrating understanding, responsibility and accountability. Your efforts are both recognized and appreciated.
Dr. Dennis Mizel, President