Niagara Health playing hardball, 85 unvaxxed employees sent home

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Published March 25, 2022 at 4:44 pm

Get vaxxed or get out.

Niagara Health, which runs the hospitals in the region and employs 5,000 people, sent 85 unvaccinated workers home on unpaid leaves of absence because they haven’t complied with the vaccination policy.

While the Province and even municipalities in Niagara are easing up on their vaccination policies, Niagara Health has doubled-down. With the April 7 deadline looming, the message is simple: start the vaccination process or get fired.

Since announcing its vaccination policy in October, the health unit said vaccination compliance had gone up from roughly 93 per cent to over 98 per cent.

The original vaccination deadline for Niagara Health was in January but staff at the hospitals and health clinics got clobbered by the Omicron variant, leaving them severely short-staffed from December through to February. In fact, by mid-January, 565 Niagara Health staff tested positive for COVID-19 – more than a third of Niagara Health’s total since the pandemic began.

Since health units are expected to have a higher standard, Niagara Health move comes as little surprise. Hamilton Health Sciences has fired almost 180 workers who refused to get vaccinated.

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