Only 67% of City of Hamilton employees meet deadline to provide COVID-19 vaccination status

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Published September 17, 2021 at 3:35 pm

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger receiving a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the large-scale clinic inside FirstOntario Centre.

Only 67 per cent of City of Hamilton employees have provided proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status by the Sept. 15 deadline. Of those who have reported, 97 per cent are fully vaccinated, according to city staff.

“While we are pleased that so many of the employees who met the first deadline in the policy are vaccinated, we are concerned that more staff did not verify their vaccination status,” issued a city spokesperson.

“We expect that, as a large subset of our broader community, City employees likely reflect a similar percentage of those members of our community who have been fully vaccinated.”

According to the city’s health care partners, 804,981 doses have been administered to date, with 81.7 per cent of eligible Hamiltonians receiving at least one vaccine and 74.8 per cent receiving two.

Employees who have not provided proof of vaccination or an approved exemption will be required to attend a mandatory education session on the benefits of getting vaccinated. Once an employee attends the session, they will have to provide proof of their first dose no later than Sept. 30, and proof of their second dose by Nov. 1.

Employees who are not fully vaccinated or have not received an exemption by Nov. 1 will be required to submit regular negative COVID-19 testing results.

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“I fully support the City implementing a mandatory vaccination verification policy for City employees and efforts aimed at increasing vaccine uptake in the community as a whole,” said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health.

“Achieving high levels of vaccination against COVID-19 is the best way to ensure the community can have the highest levels of protection heading into the fall. At this critical time in the pandemic and as we move forward together, we need this leadership from across all parts of our community to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect workers, their customers and the community as a whole.”

Last month, city council approved a policy that requires all staff to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status.

“We are committed to taking all the necessary steps to ensure City of Hamilton work spaces are as safe as possible,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

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