OTTAWA -- As the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Nurses Association call for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for health care workers, Ottawa hospitals are reporting high vaccine uptake among doctors, nurses and staff.

The Ottawa Hospital says over 90 per cent of physicians and residents and 85 per cent of all staff at the three campuses have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.  The Montfort Hospital says 81 per cent of staff members are fully vaccinated, while the Queensway Carleton Hospital says over 85 per cent of staff had reported being fully vaccinated.

At CHEO, over 90 per cent of staff, including doctors and nurses, are fully vaccinated.

On Wednesday, the associations representing physicians and nurses joined the call for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers.

"We are seeing looming on the very near horizon the potential for the fourth wave of this pandemic, and as well we are seeing variants that are much more contagious and much more serious, and at the same time a levelling off in vaccine uptake," said CMA President Dr. Ann Collins during an interview on CTV News at Noon.

"Because of our duty of care and accountability to our patients, and to create safe environments for them to receive care and for health care workers to provide care, we feel that this is the right call at this time."

The Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Nurses Association say mandatory vaccination for health care workers is an additional measure to protect patients, health care workers and the health care system.

"Higher rates of vaccination will reduce the burden of COVID-19 in our communities and bolster ongoing pandemic management efforts," said the CMA and CNA in a statement.

Dr. Collins tells CTV News at Noon that health care employers and governments must address vaccine hesitancy among employees to boost vaccination rates.

"What are the barriers that have prevented some of our health care workers from getting the vaccine - Is it misinformation, is it the inability to get to a vaccine clinic, to have the time off," said Dr. Collins. "So, those are all issues that need to be addressed as well in order to promote and increase vaccination uptake, which we know is a very powerful tool in addressing this pandemic."

Collins says there is significant evidence that vaccines are safe and effective.

"It is incredibly important that we do whatever we can to promote vaccine uptake and to protect our health care workers, our patients and the health care system," said Collins on Wednesday afternoon.

"The main thrust here should be to get as many Canadians fully vaccinated as possible – let's aim for 100 per cent because this virus and its variants, they're certainly showing their hand  and we need to do all we can to combat that."

COVID-19 VACCINES IN OTTAWA

The Ottawa Hospital, CHEO, the Montfort Hospital and the Queensway Carleton Hospital are reporting more than 80 per cent of staff have received a COVID-19 vaccine. The hospitals note that because COVID-19 vaccines are not mandatory, the statistics are based on information provided by staff.

Here is a look at the vaccination rates at each hospital:

Ottawa Hospital

The Ottawa Hospital reports over 90 per cent of physicians and residents are fully vaccinated. Over 85 per cent of staff have had two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Montfort Hospital

The Montfort Hospital says 80.6 per cent of staff members have informed the hospital they are fully vaccinated.

"The real percentage of vaccinated staff could be higher," said the Montfort Hospital, noting it's not mandatory for staff to report their vaccination status.

Queensway Carleton Hospital

The Queensway Carleton Hospital says over 85 per cent of staff are fully vaccinated.

"We have an excellent rate of vaccination at QCH and our staff, physicians and volunteers have consistently stepped up since the vaccine has been available to get their shots," said QCH.

CHEO

CHEO is reporting a high vaccination rate for staff at all locations.

"We monitor staff daily at all our CHEO locations and more than 90% report that they are fully vaccinated," said a statement from CHEO.