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COVID-19 vaccine policy for City of London staff in the works

The seat was declared vacant soon after its former councillor Arielle Kayabaga was elected as the Member of Parliament of London West in the 2021 general election. Matthew Trevithick / Global News

City of London staff have been directed to draft a potential COVID-19 vaccination policy for municipal employees by the end of the week, Deputy Mayor Josh Morgan confirmed Monday.

Late last week, the City of Toronto announced that it would be requiring all of its city employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 30, with some exceptions for those who are “legally entitled to accommodation.”

Read more: City of Toronto will require all employees to have both COVID-19 vaccine shots by Oct. 30

At that time, City of London Mayor Ed Holder stated that “there’s a number of factors at play, along with legal complexities” but that consultation was underway.

On Monday, Morgan confirmed that a policy was in the works.

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“After further review and consultation with the local health unit and union leadership,” Morgan said Monday, “staff are currently working on a report focused on a vaccination policy for the City of London employees.”

The report will be included in the added agenda, to be posted this Friday, for the Aug. 30 Corporate Services Committee meeting.

“As this report is still being prepared, I am not in a position to share details of the policy, what it might look like, to whom it might apply, or when it might come into effect. Again, all of this will be made public on Friday.”

Read more: COVID-19 outbreaks at 2 London, Ont., bars now linked to 40 cases: MLHU

The health unit is also in support of such policies, with Middlesex-London Health Unit associate medical officer of health Dr. Alex Summers saying last Thursday that “vaccination in congregate environments is absolutely critical.”

“The Middlesex-London Health Unit, as an employer, has made vaccination mandatory for our staff and we are trying to provide that example.”

On Monday, Morgan stated that “no one is forcing anyone to get the shot” but that rising case counts present an urgent need to increase vaccination rates to “provide even greater protection to those who are vulnerable,” including children born in 2010 or later who are ineligible for vaccination.

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Morgan added that since July 12, 87 per cent of all COVID-19 cases in the region involve people who were not fully vaccinated while roughly 95 per cent of hospitalizations involved people who were not fully vaccinated.

Click to play video: 'Could vaccines soon be mandatory for Peterborough city and county staff?' Could vaccines soon be mandatory for Peterborough city and county staff?
Could vaccines soon be mandatory for Peterborough city and county staff? – Aug 20, 2021

— with a file from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues.  

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