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Misrepresentation of College Guidance

11/21/2022

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We understand that our guidance is once again being grossly misrepresented by some on social media and in other forums, and is adding to the tidal wave of disinformation that has been circulating on social media for the past two and a half years. In an effort to stem this, we clarified guidance several weeks ago regarding assisting patients who were apprehensive (needle phobia, afraid due to misinformation) regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. We are now receiving harmful, violent threats from some key misinformation extremists, which are making their way through social media channels.
 
The essence of the FAQ is to encourage physicians to work closely with patients who may wish to be vaccinated, but were unable to do so as a result of a fear of needles and other fears. It, of course, goes without saying that we would expect physicians to support their patients in managing any psychological or physical conditions that their patients are seeking support for.
 
This false interpretation that is being disseminated has no basis in fact or reality. To be clear, our standards remain the same and our clarified guidance states:
 
It is also important that physicians work with their patients to manage anxieties related to the vaccine and not enable avoidance behaviour. For example, for extreme fear of needles (trypanophobia) or other cases of serious concern, responsible use of prescription medications and/or referral to psychotherapy may be available options. Overall, physicians have a responsibility to allow their patients to be properly informed about vaccines and not have those anxieties empowered by an exemption.