SickKids Hospital puts 147 workers on unpaid leave for not providing proof of full COVID-19 vaccination
Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children placed 147 of its employees across all functions on unpaid leave Thursday after they did not submit proof they received a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the organization’s deadline.
SickKids spokesperson Jessamine Luck told CP24 that approximately 1.8 per cent of the hospital and research institute’s roughly 8,250 doctors, nurses, researchers, support staff and student trainees – including those working completely from home - are still not vaccinated or have unknown vaccination status and have been placed on unpaid leave.
“One-hundred and forty seven staff members, including corporate, clinical and research staff, both onsite and working remotely, are not fully vaccinated and/or have not submitted complete documentation and have been placed on unpaid leaves of absence.”
She said about 19 per cent of the workers put on leave Thursday have one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“It is our hope that every staff member who is currently not fully vaccinated will become fully vaccinated at their earliest opportunity and return from leave.We do not anticipate any disruptions to patient care as a result of the vaccine mandate policy.”
Back in August, SickKids and two other Ontario hospitals announced vaccine mandates that did not give unvaccinated workers an option to submit to regular testing.
Ontario rules allow other hospital workers to submit to regular rapid antigen testing, paid for by taxpayers, instead of accepting a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Ford government has asked hospital administrators for input on whether to make rules more stringent.
The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table urged Ford to make vaccinations mandatory in the healthcare space, saying it could reduce the risk of future staff shortages caused by COVID-19 outbreaks in healthcare facilities.
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