No mandatory vaccinations by hospital staff
The opposition say Premier Doug Ford has surrendered to vaccination opposition, with his decision not to impose a mandatory vaccination policy on Ontario’s hospitals.
In a statement, Ford says he’s concerned that tens of thousands of hospital workers would leave their jobs if they were compelled to be vaccinated.
That, he says, could imperil medical care.
Liberal leader Steven Del Duca says the premier is putting the most vulnerable at risk, because he’s scared he’ll lose votes among those opposed to vaccinations in next June’s provincial election.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath maintains Ford is catering to those opposed to vaccinations.
The Ontario Hospital Association is disappointed with the decision, saying the vast majority of its members were calling for mandatory vaccinations.
Most major hospitals have already gone ahead with compulsory policies of their own.
COVID-19 booster shots will be available to all Ontarians, beginning in January.
The provincial government says the third shots will first be made available to more of the groups considered vulnerable with appointments opening up Saturday morning.
That includes those over the age of 70, front-line health care workers who had their shots less than four weeks apart, adults in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities, and those who had two doses of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine.
Officials say 2.75-million Ontarians will be covered immediately by the new policy.
The latest figures show that more than 95 per cent of federal civil servants are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Treasury Board says 2.7 per cent are partially vaccinated with less than one per cent either having not received a shot, or not disclosing their status.
Federal employees have until November 15th to get their inoculations or provide an exemption or they’ll be suspended without pay.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned that believing vaccines are bad won’t be enough to gain an exemption.