Here it is, I've done what I can. @fordnation & @SylviaJonesMPP will receive a letter today, sent by way of legal counsel. See a copy below (as a 🧵). Step 1, appealing to @ONThealth to do the right thing. Open up #COVID19 vaccine boosters (4th dose) to all Ontarians 18y+ now.
Dear Hon. Ford and Hon. Jones,
I am writing to you as a family physician to formally ask you to open Covid-19 second boosters (fourth doses) to all Ontarians 18 years and older who received their previous dose at least 5 months ago. I am appealing to your sense of responsibility
for the wellbeing of your province. If it is already your plan to open up vaccine eligibility, thank you.

As you know, most healthcare workers – doctors, nurses, personal support workers, paramedics, pharmacists, and others on the front line in Ontario’s hospitals and in the
community – are under the age of 60. The same is true for most essential workers, including grocers, bus drivers, teachers, childcare providers, servers in restaurants, employees in factories and small businesses, people who work in construction and trades, and first responders.
Every pregnant person is under 60, and most parents of school-age children. None of those people are eligible for second Covid-19 vaccine boosters, according to the Ontario Ministry of Health. Many people with disabilities and serious illness, complex reasons that they are
immunocompromised, also fall through the cracks. Everyone who has to work outside of their home, provide care to a loved one in long-term care or congregate settings in the community, anyone who wishes to shop, dine at restaurants, go to gyms, anyone who relies on daycare or
camps for their children, and anyone who relies on public transportation is at risk of Covid-19.

I know, as a family physician, that Covid-19 is not over. I see patients daily (in person) who are diagnosed with Covid-19. We have patients who have suffered through two or more
reinfections. Those are almost exclusively people under the age of 60, whose lives require them to be out in the community, whose protection from their previous dose of Covid-19 vaccine in December or January is waning dangerously.
In early 2021, when we began to offer Covid-19 vaccine to residents of Ontario, we asserted that the vaccine would help to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death. It did what we said it would, unequivocally. Ontario developed priority groups that began with seniors
and staff in long-term care, then hospital staff, then other healthcare workers, and then essential workforce and pregnant people, and finally the rest of the population by age-cohorts. Initially, vaccine was scarce, and the rollout was challenging. People had to hunt, sadly,
which left some of our most vulnerable populations behind while others were able to access vaccine. Many of us in public health, in family practices, and in pharmacies stepped up to help immunize thousands of people in Ontario who cried tears of relief when they finally got
their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine in April and May, 2021. In August and September 2021, we offered second doses to those people who were still hunting for vaccine. In December 2021 and January 2022, we offered booster doses to all HCWs, essential workers, pregnant people, and
then to everyone 18 and over in Ontario. At the time, I promised all of those people that if their protection waned from that third dose and we were still encountering waves of Covid-19, I would step up again and help them.
Wave after wave has hit the healthcare system hard. Hospitals and clinics are understaffed because so many people are away, sick with Covid-19. Long-Covid has reduced the physical and cognitive stamina of thousands of people of all ages. Each repeat infection takes a further toll
on all of us. Yet we’ve let go of all restrictions, we let go of mask mandates. We are staring BA.4 and 5 in the face and we are more vulnerable than we were six months ago, as rates climb again, and the protection offered by our previous vaccine boosters wanes.
There is no medical rationale to restrict boosters to people 60 and older. The vaccines are safe for anyone 18 and over, approved in Quebec and in the United States and elsewhere for all adults.

People with privilege are driving to Quebec and to the United States to access
Covid-19 vaccine boosters. That is inequitable. Our most vulnerable populations do not have the resources or the time to “hunt” for vaccines and should have to do so for medical care that could be available in their own neighborhoods.
The vaccines are effective, even if they only confer protection until we are able to access an updated vaccine. There is no justification for throwing out tens of thousands of doses of vaccine in mid-July, as it expires, rather than offering it to everyone 18 and over. We should
not have to appeal to the Human Rights Tribunal or the Divisional Court, to apply for an injunction to open up equitable access to a vaccine that is available and will otherwise go unused. We cannot abide asking Ontarians to wait for the Omicron-specific vaccine (which may or
may not be effective against BA.4/5), while our local public health units are warning physicians that Covid-19 is already on the rise and by the autumn it will hit us very hard.

In short, I am appealing to your humanity and willingness to care for Ontarians.
I am signing this letter on my own, but 70 people from across the province are willing to act as plaintiffs and we have retained legal counsel, prepared to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that Covid-19 vaccine is opened up to all adults in Ontario as a matter of
urgency. Open up eligibility so that people can access vaccine from their primary care providers and local pharmacists as well as through public health. I am only asking that you allow people who want the vaccine booster to get their vaccine booster. It is indefensible not to
do so.

Thank you for considering my plea.

Sincerely,
Dr Nili Kaplan-Myrth

cc: 70 potential plaintiffs from across Ontario, legal counsel
Thanks to those who reached out to act as plaintiffs. Add your powerful stories, your pleas to @fordnation and @SylviaJonesMPP below. Similar letters can be written across Canada.
#CovidIsNotOver #onpoli @CBCQueensPark @cbcasithappens @CTVNews @CP24 @CBCNews @globalnews @CMA_Docs
The letter, as it was sent to @fordnation and @SylviaJonesMPP this morning. The next step is hopefully Ontario opens up #COVID19 vaccine second boosters to 18y+ so that we will not have to pursue litigation or an application to @OntHumanRights. @EvanLSolomon @OntarioHealthC

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More from @nilikm

Jun 23
Yesterday, like every day, I saw family after family, in person. Well baby visits. Geriatrics. Diabetes. Mental health counselling. Pap tests. Many patients walked to my office. This is what a small, neighbourhood family med clinic offers. 🧵@OntarioCollege @CMA_Docs @FamPhysCan
Moved to tears by the passionate letters that poured in from patients, explaining why they need our little clinic, why it must remain downtown. The bureaucrats who write policy about models of family med have no idea what they are doing to community. @OntariosDoctors @ONThealth
I adore my own GP, but contrast our space with his clinic. Large office, 6+ docs, in a suburban plaza. They’ve offered almost entirely virtual care for two years. It will never be safe for them to have a full waiting room again. That is the model politicians want us to emulate.
Read 5 tweets
Jun 4
We got notice that our family med group will disband this summer. Because of changes to ministry models, they left out docs who don’t share office space (as they form a FHO, I’m alone). I had to send a letter to tell patients I’m not closing, but I don’t know what I’ll be doing🧵
As a doc who has been part of a group for a decade, but in my own Glebe space, I now have to move my practice to join another group. None of the downtown Ottawa groups are willing to add docs (Midtown FHO, COFMA). They have no incentive to help out. It is all so disheartening.
What would happen if I stayed solo and didn’t look for a group to join? We wouldn’t have after hours care. I’d continue to have to work 60 hrs/wk. If I’m sick, if my staff gets sick, like we were with #COVID19 in March, I’d have nobody to cover me and no way to cover my expenses.
Read 6 tweets
Apr 17
We *can* push back against indifference. What's that? Indifference, you say? Yes. This was never about "choice" (right-wing rhetoric that emphasizes individuals, ignores our connectedness). We can be proactive. There are many examples of public health policy in our lifetimes.🧵
Mandatory masks could be reinstated broadly. Examples of protective public policy in our lifetime🧵
- Smoke Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking in all workplaces, public places, schools
- Sabrina's Law requires every school board in ON to establish & maintain anaphylaxis policy
Covid-19 vaccine could be required for schools. Examples of protective public policy in our lifetime🧵
- Ontario's Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) requires children & adolescents attending primary or secondary school be appropriately immunized against designated diseases
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Apr 11
Just wrote a letter to @OCDSB to implore them to reinstate masks in schools. As Trustees in #Ottawa, they have the opportunity to lead the way for Ontario. Other Boards of Education will follow suit. I'll copy the entire letter as a 🧵, and I sent a copy to @OttawaCitizen #onted
Dear @OCDSB Trustees,
I am writing to you as a family physician in Ottawa, to advocate on behalf of my patients and the broader Ottawa community.
As you know, we are in the thick of a public health crisis in Ottawa, and across Ontario, as Covid-19 is ravaging our population. 🧵
We all agree that schools should have been the last to close and the first to open in every wave of this pandemic. However, @ONThealth public health policy has repeatedly failed to prioritize the safety of our children or our educators. 🧵
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Feb 19
Last night, after helping hundreds of teens, we drove past the convoy, ppl with smirks and Canadian flags on sticks, as @cbcradio reviewed the events of the day in #Ottawa and described Ukraine. Our daughter asked why? Why are people like this? Will there be a third world war? 🧵
She asked what will happen to our planet. So we talked about human history, how people have fought wars over race, religion, ethnicity, ideology. We talked about the history of resistance to science. We talked about environmental crises. Then we talked about the #OttawaOccupation
Her angst isn’t surprising. Of course what’s happened in our city has deeply affected #Ottawa kids. Her school is in the red zone downtown. She was already anxious about getting #COVID19 at school, then she had to worry about her safety walking to and from school. She listened to
Read 14 tweets
Feb 17
People who live and work in downtown #Ottawa are afraid and exhausted as they wait for police to dismantle the convoy that has harassed and disrupted us all. Tonight, reread the letter signed by >2000 HCWs. We will care - and heal - and we won’t cower to hate. #WeAreCanadian ❤️🇨🇦
Dear Canadians,
 
We, the undersigned physicians, nurses, healthcare workers, and public health scholars across the country, will NOT hide out of fear of violence from hate-fueled convoys. Some of us have grandparents who fled Nazis during the Second World War. Some of us have
families that are refugees or migrants to Canada from other wars and violations of human rights. Some of us are Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Baptist, Protestant, Catholic, atheist. Some of us identify as transgender, some as non-binary. Some of us are lesbian, gay, bisexual.
Read 14 tweets

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