Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy is described as a delay in acceptance or refusal to vaccinate, despite the availability of vaccination services. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine hesitancy is now one of the top 10 threats to global health, despite robust evidence showing the effectiveness and safety of vaccines. The WHO also acknowledges that health care professionals are among the most trusted sources of information when parents make decisions regarding vaccination.

In the context of vaccination and vaccine hesitancy, ACCLXT Registrants are reminded of the following:

  • Commenting on vaccines is not within the scope of a combined laboratory and x-ray technologists and therefore ACCLXT Registrants should not provide any vaccine information, opinions or advice. 
  • ACCLXT Registrants should only communicate scientifically valid information and must not promote or encourage anti-vaccination messages or “alternative therapies” in their professional capacities or in their personal capacities if there is an association to their status as a regulated health professional.

The ACCLXT has a responsibility as a regulatory college to ensure, through monitoring, evaluation and follow up on complaints (as appropriate), that Registrants comply with these requirements.

The following are possible questions (but not limited to) that you may be asked regarding the above information.

What do I say when a patient asks for my advice or my opinion on vaccinations?

Kindly tell the patient that you cannot comment on vaccinations, as that is not within your current role as a CLXT. If they continue to ask or pursue the conversation, you can suggest that they speak with their family physician/health care provider or they can access vaccine and vaccination information on Health Canada’s website.

Can I comment on social media or blog/vlog about my vaccination beliefs?

If any of your social media or blog/vlog accounts can be reasonably linked back to you as a CLXT professional, then you must only communicate scientifically valid information regarding vaccinations and must not encourage or promote anti-vaccination messages. This includes your own posts/messages and comments on other posts/pages.

How can I be linked to my profession on my social media sites?

Some examples of ways that you can be identified on social media/blog/vlog include:

  • You have your worksite and/or profession listed in your profile or anywhere on your page that the public and/or your friends can see.
  • Using your CLXT title or some type of reference that you are a CLXT in posts/messages that the public and/or your friends can see.

If you think your information/posts are private because your account security settings prevent the public from seeing your information, THINK AGAIN!  As soon as you allow anyone including “FRIENDS” to see profile and posted information, it is no longer private and can be linked back to you!

In my employment I am required to promote vaccinations to my staff.

The 2nd requirement states that:
 
ACCLXT Registrants should only communicate scientifically valid information and must not promote or encourage anti-vaccination messages or “alternative therapies” in their professional capacities.  
 
As a professional, you are communicating to your staff (not a patient) scientifically valid information, that your employer has provided to you regarding vaccinations. As such, you would not be in any violation of these requirements.  
 
Should the policy be about not promoting either side?
 
We received direction from government regarding our role as a College regarding vaccination hesitancy. As our mandate is the protection of the public interest, it is the College’s responsibility to prevent anti-vaccination messaging from being promoted by our Registrants, as vaccinations are established public health practices in the prevention of infection disease. 
 
Can we promote on social media for other therapies as long as no association on social media accounts to the ACCLXT or that we are a CLXT?
 
Please keep in mind, if those other therapies are a regulated health profession, you will need to make sure you are upholding those Colleges guidelines, as well. For example, a chiropractor in Nova Scotia lost her license to practice and was assessed $100,000 in fines due to her posting on social media about disproved and unfounded views on vaccination. The finding was made as that College mandated that vaccinations were outside of the scope of chiropractic practice and that vaccination and immunization are established public health practices in the prevention of infectious diseases.
 
If you choose to post information on vaccination and immunizations that do not follow the listed requirements, you must have no link back to any regulated health profession or College i.e. use of title, listed regulated profession, listed work sites etc.   
 

Contact the ACCLXT at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. should you have any questions.