St. Thomas hospital updating its COVID-19 vaccine policy

The North Building at St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital is seen in St. Thomas, Ont. on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. (Brent Lale / CTV News)

St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STGEH) is updating its COVID-19 vaccine policy.

According to a release from the hospital, the policy would apply to everyone working in the hospital environment.

“Our health care teams have worked tirelessly to protect our community over the past 18 months,” says Dr. Waleed Chehadi, Chief of Staff. “These individuals deserve the protection and support to enable them to do their jobs safely, and to the best of their abilities.”

On Sept. 1, STEGH implemented its initial policy and is now saying with developments that have changed the landscape of the pandemic, the hospital has re-evaluated and now says employees and physicians are required to receive their first dose by Oct. 20 and their second dose by Nov. 18. 

Currently, 97 per cent of employees and physicians at STEGH have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“We are very proud of the high vaccination rates in our hospital,” says Karen Davies, President and CEO. “Moving to mandatory vaccination is our next step as we have not been able to achieve 100% without it. The safety of our patients and our staff is our number one priority and we are taking the necessary steps to protect everyone’s health and wellbeing.”