Niagara Health says all staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 27

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Published October 26, 2021 at 1:11 pm

Shortly into the new year every employee and physician that works for Niagara Health has to be fully-vaccinated against COVID-19.

The health organization announced today (October 26) that with “very few exceptions”, all their employees must meet a January 27, 2022 deadline to get both shots.

“Mandating full vaccination is in the best interest of our hospital and community,” said Lynn Guerriero, President and CEO at Niagara Health.

“It is the natural next step to protect our people, patients and operations against the threat of COVID-19. The majority of our staff and physicians support mandatory vaccination, and it is our hope that every member of our team who is not yet fully vaccinated will do so at their earliest opportunity.”

At this point, 92.8 per cent of the staff and physicians at Niagara Health are fully vaccinated.

The agency said, “Our progressive approach has moved us closer to our goal of 100 per cent vaccination. However, we have not made enough progress in our vaccination rate at Niagara Health. Full vaccination of our healthcare team is critical to maintain a safe environment for everyone in the hospital.”

Dr. Johan Viljoen, Chief of Staff at Niagara Health said they were joining many other hospitals and local employers who are requiring people to be vaccinated as a condition of employment.

“Hospitals that have already implemented a mandatory policy have experienced a meaningful increase in their vaccination rates. This step is consistent with our announcement in September requiring mandatory vaccination for new hires and volunteers across our hospital sites,” said Viljoen.

The group said the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table supports mandatory vaccination as “it would reduce the risk of staff shortages because fewer employees would be likely to get infected by the virus. Also, hospital workers who aren’t vaccinated against the virus are at greater risk of being unable to work for long periods of time if they suffer from an acute or long COVID-19 infection.”

And it’s not just Niagara Health staff. They will also be implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for visitors unless under exceptional circumstances. This policy will be implemented at a later date to be announced in the coming weeks.

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