Lambton’s top doc calls for mandatory vaccines in workplaces

Lambton County’s acting medical officer of health is calling for all workplace to implement vaccine mandates.

Dr. Christopher Greensmith says it’s needed to help curb the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

According to Lambton Public Health, a workplace COVID-19 vaccination policy should require all employees to provide proof of full immunization against COVID-19 or provide a written request for accommodation and/or completion of a COVID-19 vaccination education session.

Dr. Greensmith says that having taken part in an education session wouldn’t exempt an employee from such a vaccine mandate. “Being educated is meant to persuade you of the benefits of the vaccine. If you’re educated and decline the vaccine then you may well need to be tested or may even be excluded from the workplace depending on the policy.”

According to the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, most businesses are in favour of vaccine mandates in the workplace.

That being said, CEO Allan Calvert says such a policy wouldn’t be without complications.

“We’ve all heard of the challenges, like the human rights challenges,” he says. “We deal with those as they are one-offs. Having said that, and again speaking on behalf of the business community, the vast majority of businesses want this and they want it now.”

Cate Jarvis, who works at Nature’s Buds Cannabis says she believes a vaccine mandate would put some workers into a no-win situation.

“Me personally, like I have the vaccine so I’m okay, but I know lots of people who don’t want to get it and like I don’t think they should be fired just because they don’t want to get it.”

Lambton currently has a vaccination rate of 72 per cent of the eligible population with two doses.

Dr. Greensmith says he hopes to reach at least 90 per cent to avoid further lockdowns.