Dozens of employees at Sudbury's Health Sciences North (HSN) have been put on unpaid leave for not meeting the hospital's vaccination compliance rules. The employees have been told they need to meet the vaccination policy within days or they could lose their jobs.
"As of Monday, November 15th, HSN had 76 employees who were not compliant with the mandatory vaccination policy and who were put on unpaid leave. This represents two per cent of employees," said Jason Turnbull, manager of communications and community engagement at HSN.
"These employees now have until Friday, November 26th to be compliant with the policy or face termination. HSN continues to encourage its unvaccinated employees to get their COVID-19 vaccine."
Turnbull added that when HSN announced the mandatory vaccination policy on Nov. 1, there were 244 employees (6.5 percent) and four members of the credentialed professional staff (one per cent) who had not yet provided evidence of their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination.
"These health-care workers had until Friday, November 12th to submit proof of first dose of vaccination, or a documented medical exemption accepted by HSN’s Occupational Health and Safety Department, or be put on unpaid leave," Turnbull said.
He said 100 per cent of the credentialed professional staff at HSN are now in compliance with the policy.
He added that the 76 unvaccinated employees who do not get their first vaccination within the next week will be faced with losing their jobs.
Job termination could present difficulties for health care employees seeking new employment since virtually all healthcare venues now require vaccinations for new hires.
The hospital also reported that "99.6 per cent of employees currently at work, 100 per cent of credentialed professional staff, 100 per cent of learners and 100 per cent of active on-site volunteers at HSN have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine."
Medical exemptions have been submitted for less than one per cent of employees currently at work, said Turnbull.
"Of course, all those with only first dose of vaccination or medical exemptions are required to continue to participate in twice weekly rapid antigen testing," he added.
Len Gillis is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter at Sudbury.com. He covers health care in Northern Ontario.
Len Gillis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com