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.