Burlington hospital fires 13 unvaccinated staff, another 38 on unpaid leave

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Published November 10, 2021 at 5:55 pm

More than a dozen Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) employees have been terminated, and another three dozen placed on unpaid leave, for not having a COVID-19 vaccination.

The deadline for JBH staff to be fully vaccinated was Nov. 1. According to data released today, 1,770 active employees, (97.25 per cent) are fully vaccinated. Thirteen people were fired and 38 placed on unpaid leave.

“Like many other hospitals in Ontario including those in our region, we recognize the importance of mandatory vaccination of health care workers as a critical tool in protecting patients, physicians, staff and volunteers safety, as well as avoiding disruption to vital hospital services and programs,” said Eric Vandewall, JBH president and CEO.

“When it comes to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination, each hospital is responsible for making decisions in the best interest of their patients and the communities they serve. All of our actions, including mandatory COVID-19 vaccination, are guided by our mission to provide quality patient care through our values of Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence. It is what our community expects and what we strive for every day.”

Vandewall said vaccination rates among staff and medical professionals who work at the hospital have risen steadily since these policies were introduced two months ago.

“Vaccinations help reduce transmission of COVID-19 and decreases the risk of disruption to hospital operations caused by outbreaks and other unexpected staff absences due to illness.”

Vandewall said the mandatory vaccination policy is the right decision for the safety of patients, their families and the community.

This in spite of the provincial government not taking the step of making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for health care workers across the province.

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