TORONTO — Ontario's health minister says she now has enough responses from hospitals and health-care groups across the province to inform her decision on a mandatory vaccine policy at hospitals.
Premier Doug Ford sent a letter last month to hospital CEOs, local medical officers of health and other related organizations asking for input on mandating vaccines for staff at hospitals.
He had asked for responses by Oct. 19, but last week Health Minister Christine Elliott said they were still waiting for responses from some hospitals so the government could make its decision.
She says today that she has now received most of them and is reviewing them in detail, so she can make a decision.
Elliott says one factor to consider is whether a vaccine mandate would lead to staff shortages affecting patient care, such as needing to cancel surgeries.
Several hospitals who have already implemented their own mandates have seen roughly two per cent of staff being placed on unpaid leave or terminated because of the policies.
Ontario reported 422 new COVID-19 cases Monday and three more deaths.
Elliott said 261 of those cases are in people who haven't been fully vaccinated or their vaccination status is unknown.
Ontario is reporting that 133 people are in intensive care units due to COVID-19, but not all hospitals submit that data on weekends. There are 25 patients from Saskatchewan in Ontario ICUs.
More than 88 per cent of eligible Ontarians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. About 84.5 per cent of eligible Ontarians have received both doses.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2021.
The Canadian Press