Unvaccinated staff at the Ottawa Hospital will be placed on unpaid leave on Nov. 1
The Ottawa Civic hospital is seen Tuesday January 7, 2020 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
OTTAWA -- Doctors, nurses and staff at the Ottawa Hospital have 36 days to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or face an unpaid suspension.
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, the Ottawa Hospital says all staff, medical staff and learners who are not fully vaccinated on Nov. 1 will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence.
On Aug. 24, the Ottawa Hospital announced all staff working in the hospital environment would need to have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 7, and their second dose by Oct. 15.
Ottawa's largest hospital says the hospital has a duty to care for those in need at their most vulnerable time, "that is why everyone in the hospital environment is expected to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to mitigate the risk of getting COVID-19."
"To ensure the safety of our entire team and our patients and families, beginning November 1, all staff, medical staff and learners will be required to have been fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment and/or credentialing at The Ottawa Hospital," said the Ottawa Hospital in a statement to CTV News Ottawa on Friday.
"Those who are not fully vaccinated (or do not have an approved medical and/or other exception in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code) will be deemed non-compliant with the COVID-19 vaccine policy and placed on an unpaid leave of absence."
Two weeks ago, the Ottawa Hospital apologized to employees whose names were mistakenly visible on a mass email to unvaccinated staff. The letter was sent to employees who declined the COVID-19 vaccination, and included an invitation to complete an educational module about COVID-19 vaccination.
The hospital did not confirm how many staff members were affected, but a source told CTV News Ottawa there were 391 names on the list.
The Kingston Health Sciences Centre has placed 136 employees on a two-week, unpaid leave for failing to comply with the hospital's COVID-19 vaccination policy.
The policy requires all staff, physicians and learners to provide proof of having received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, or a documented medical reason for not being vaccinated, by Sept. 22.
Ninety-five per cent of employees at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre met the first dose requirement, while fewer than 10 employees have been granted a medical exemption.
With files from CTV News Ottawa's Ted Raymond and Colton Praill