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November 25, 2021

Update on the HHS COVID-19 Vaccination Management Policy

In September, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) implemented its vaccination management policy which requires all staff and physicians to disclose their vaccination status. Those who have not disclosed have been required to complete regular rapid testing.

HHS has provided ample time for everyone to comply with the vaccination management policy with the first requirements coming into effect nearly three months ago.

To date, 68 individuals have been subjects of our discipline process for not complying with reporting or testing. This includes seven dismissals. Between now and November 30, all individuals who still have not reported their vaccination status will receive notice of immediate termination.

Next, on November 30, is the HHS mandatory vaccination component of the policy coming into effect. It requires all HHS staff and physicians to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As of today, more than 96 per cent of HHS’ workforce have complied. This means that just over 360 staff and fewer than five physicians remain unvaccinated.

With the deadline for mandatory vaccination requirement coming on November 30, the following measures will be taken:

  • Staff and physicians who are not fully vaccinated by November 30 will receive a notice of termination on December 1, effective January 26, 2022. However, this termination notice may be rescinded if employees become fully vaccinated by January 26 (this means getting their second dose on, or before, January 12).
  • Individuals who have received a single vaccine dose by the deadline will have the opportunity to avoid termination by signing a written agreement, undertaking to become fully vaccinated by January 26, 2022. Those who don’t meet this commitment will be terminated, effective January 26.
  • Medical reporting for those who are unvaccinated and choose to go on sick leave following November 30 will be closely scrutinized. Those without a legitimate reason, according to Health, Safety and Wellness processes or policies, will not have their medical leave approved.

We feel this is a responsible approach that provides appropriate notice to those whose employment may be impacted by this policy.

Staff and physicians who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated at this time, are strongly urged to choose to continue their employment with HHS and to visit their local vaccine clinic. There is still time to act.

Know that these actions are not taken lightly. We wish every individual to continue their employment with HHS.

We are grateful to the overwhelming majority of staff and physicians at HHS who have done the right thing by becoming fully vaccinated to protect our patients and each other.

They are role models in our community.