Over 130 KHSC staff on unpaid leave after refusing to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccine

Kingston General Hospital, a KHSC site. Photo by Lucas Mulder.

Earlier this month, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) announced that everyone who works, learns and volunteers at any KHSC location will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Unvaccinated individuals had until Wednesday. Sept. 22, 2021, to provide proof of a first dose of the vaccine, or a documented medical reason for not being vaccinated, according to a release from KHSC.

“95 per cent of KHSC employees have met the first dose requirement and fewer than 10 employees provided valid medical exemptions to our Occupational Health and Wellness team,” said Elizabeth Bardon, Vice President and COVID-19 Incident Commander at KHSC. “As of September 22, 136 KHSC employees are in non-compliance with our immunization policy and have been placed on an unpaid two-week administrative leave. Following those two weeks, further disciplinary action may be taken, up to and including termination, if those individuals cannot show proof of vaccination or cannot produce a valid medical exemption.”

“As an organization, we strongly believe that vaccination is the top preventive strategy against COVID-19, in conjunction with screening, wearing personal protective equipment such as masks, and physical distancing,” Bardon continued. “As health-care providers, we have an ethical and professional obligation to take all necessary steps to keep our patients, families and each other safe from COVID-19.”

Kingstonist will continue to follow this story.

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