OTTAWA -- More than 300 Ottawa Hospital employees who aren’t fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence.

As of this week, the hospital has sent 189 letters to employees who haven’t received the vaccine, and 129 to employees who received one dose of the vaccine, but did not have their second dose scheduled by Nov. 1.

"There are a number of staff who have yet to becoming fully vaccinated by November 1 and therefore will be placed on unpaid leave of absence," said a letter to hospital leaders obtained by CTV News Ottawa.

The letter said those employees will have to return all hospital property, including employee ID cards and keys. The ID cards will be deactivated as of Oct. 31 at midnight.

The 318 employees include full-time, part-time and casual staff members.

A hospital spokesperson said the letters were sent as reminders of the deadline, and do not mean the employees will definitely be terminated or placed on leave.

"We will continue working with staff who are not fully vaccinated to ensure they have all the information they need regarding their options," the spokesperson said in an email.

However, even employees who receive a second dose immediately would be receiving it less than two weeks before the Nov. 1 deadline.

Ninety-six per cent of hospital employees are fully vaccinated, above the city-wide rate of 86 per cent among those eligible.

The hospital announced last month that all staff who aren’t vaccinated would be placed on unpaid leave as of Nov. 1.

Continued failure to comply with the policy “may ultimately result in cessation of employment or permanent suspension of privileges, if applicable,” the hospital’s seven-page corporate policy says.

The policy doesn’t apply to people who have exemptions for medical reasons or under the Ontario Human Rights Code.