‘A tremendous effort’

·1 min read

Out of the thousands of public employees across Newfoundland and Labrador, only a few dozen remained unvaccinated or partially vaccinated when the deadline passed Friday.

Those employees are now on leave without pay.

“I’m pleased to see almost all public service employees within our core government, as well as agencies, boards and commissions, are compliant with the policy,” Finance Minister Siobhan Coady told reporters during an unscheduled COVID-19 briefing Friday.

The mandate was announced in October.

Coady said 99.4 per cent of core public servants are now vaccinated. The number drops to 98 per cent for school and support staff, and 97 per cent in health care.

Coady called it “a tremendous effort.”

“I think everyone understands that vaccines work, and we’re here to protect each other,” she said, adding that only 32 core employees are now off work due to lack of compliance.

“We’re not expecting any service delivery challenges due to this.”

Health Minister Dr. John Haggie said of almost 20,000 health care workers in the province, 75 have indicated they will not be getting the vaccine, and 91 are currently off work because they are only partially vaccinated.

“This is the whole gamut, the whole range of health care providers and support staff,” he said. “Some of the groups are so small that it would be a privacy breach to list them by job title.”

Haggie said regional health authorities are not advising him of any disruptions in service levels.

Unions who have health-care workers as members have also told The Telegram they are not aware of any red flags when it comes to staff shortages because of the mandate.

Peter Jackson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram

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