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Public Health recommends workplaces implement vaccination policies

Niagara Region Public Health is recommending local employers establish a workplace vaccination policy to protect their employees and clients from COVID-19, and to prevent disruption of business recovery.

With the Delta variant currently driving a fourth wave in Niagara, there have been 11 workplace outbreaks so far in September. This has required many employees to isolate as close contacts, disrupting business and impeding the economic recovery so many businesses need. A common denominator of workplace outbreaks has been low vaccination uptake by employees.

A COVID-19 vaccination policy is the most effective means to increase vaccination coverage in the workplace. When employees are vaccinated, not only are they unlikely to become infected and bring COVID-19 into the workplace, but if a fully vaccinated worker is a close contact of someone infected, that employee does not need to isolate, thanks to their vaccination status. A vaccination policy that increases vaccination coverage will keep employees and clients safe, and prevent isolation of employees so that businesses can stay open.

“While in past waves long-term care homes were heavily affected by outbreaks, vaccination has meant only one long-term care home has had an outbreak in September,” said Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Acting Medical Officer of Health. “COVID-19 is instead finding concentrations of unvaccinated people in which to spread, and in 10 cases this month, that has meant workplaces with low vaccination rates.”

We have developed COVID-19 vaccination workplace policy resources for:

  • Organizations mandated by a provincial directive to have a vaccination policy that are looking for additional resources to strengthen their existing policy 
  • Any workplace or organization that wants to voluntarily create a COVID-19 vaccination policy
  • Businesses that require Ontarians to provide proof of vaccination

Businesses with demographics known to have lower vaccination uptake (e.g. large numbers of employees under 30 years of age) and/or serve clients who are required to be fully vaccinated effective Sept. 22 (e.g. food and drink establishments), should be particularly attentive to the importance of having a vaccination policy for employees.

As an immediate step while businesses explore and develop vaccination policies, Public Health strongly recommends businesses

  • Make provisions for workers to have paid time off to get vaccinated
  • Support transportation for workers to get to a vaccine clinic
  • Endorse vaccinations at the senior leadership level

Public Health continues to partner with organizations across the Niagara community as we work to vaccinate as many people in the region as possible.All residents who still need a first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are invited to walk in to any upcoming Niagara Region Public Health clinic. For a full list of dates and locations, visit our COVID-19 clinic schedule.

Anyone who has questions about the vaccines is encouraged to visit our frequently asked questions on the COVID-19 vaccineThey can also connect to someone at Public Health through the COVID-19 info line by using our online chat or calling 905-688-8248 or 1-888-505-6074, press 7.

All residents who have been vaccinated in Ontario, or who have provided proof of their vaccination to their local public health unit, are able to access proof of their vaccination through the provincial vaccination system.

Media Inquiries

Meredith Maxwell
Public Health
905-688-8248 ext. 7476
meredith.maxwell@niagararegion.ca


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