Montreal health-care workers reminded of 'last chance' to get vaccines before Oct. 15 deadline

Health-care workers are being reminded there is little time left to get vaccinated before a province-wide mandate kicks in next month.

A memo issued Monday and obtained by CTV News urges workers at the West Island Integrated University Health and Social Services Centres (CIUSSS) to get vaccinated, using the subject line “last chance to get your vaccine before October 15!”

Last week, Minister of Health Christian Dubé announced that all health-care workers must receive their two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 15 or face suspension without pay.

The memo came from the Strategic Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination and was sent to all managers and department heads.

The regional health authority for the West Island announced 10 sites where workers can get their jabs with or without an appointment between Sept. 14 and Sept. 24.

Getting a first dose this week would theoretically allow for the required four-week wait between doses in order for them to be fully administered in time for the Oct. 15 deadline. 

The West Island CIUSSS told CTV that currently “more than 85 per cent” of its workers have received two doses.

"We are continuing our efforts to encourage all our staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19," wrote spokesperson Mélanie Araos.

"Campaigns are underway in our institution to increase vaccination coverage among our employees as much as possible."

She did not answer questions about the organization's contingency plans if the vaccination target isn't reached by the deadline or if it becomes concerned about potentially losing workers as a result.

On Monday, a small group of people gathered outside the McGill University Health Centre to protest the vaccine mandate. Similar protests, but on a much bigger scale, also took place in other Canadian cities to protest vaccine mandates.

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