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London Health Sciences Centre implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy for staff

London Health Sciences Centre says Baby Niall was born at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1. Matthew Trevithick / Global News

The London Health Sciences Centre is the latest health-care organization to institute a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all staff following an announcement Tuesday.

LHSC is home to the Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, Byron Family Medical Centre, Victoria Family Medical Centre and 54 Riverview Ave. site.

A statement from the interim president and CEO of LHSC said the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy will apply to all staff, including, but not limited to, physicians, staff, volunteers, learners, contractors and cross-appointed personnel.

“Our promise to every person who comes through our doors is to offer safe and compassionate care. With rising COVID-19 cases across the province and many of our patients among the most vulnerable, this covenant with you becomes even more fundamental,” Dr. Jackie Schleifer Taylor said.

Read more: COVID-19 — LHSC, MLHU react to provincial vaccination policy for health, education workers

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Schleifer Taylor said the policy aligns with other hospital organizations and mandates, requiring everyone to get both doses and the 14-day waiting period no later than Oct. 22.

“This builds on our other protective measures like mandatory education and testing,” she said.

“This autumn patients coming to LHSC can take comfort in the certain knowledge that their care team has been fully vaccinated. It is the right thing to do to protect us all.”

This comes less than two weeks after the Ontario government implemented a new COVID-19 vaccination policy, requiring all employers in health and education to have policies that ask staff to disclose their vaccination status, with proof of full vaccination or a documented medical exemption.

Those who aren’t vaccinated will need to take an education session and be subject to regular tests, said Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health.

LHSC clarified its original statement on what will happen to unvaccinated staff, saying medical and human rights exemptions will be considered but based on preference will not be considered.

Staff who aren’t vaccinated by October 22 will face discipline up to, and including, termination the statement said. LHSC will also not accept frequent testing as an alternative to vaccination past October 22, unless a staff member has an exemption.

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Staff who are not exempt will still be required will be required to do frequent testing, the statement said.

—With files from Global News

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