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147 SickKids Hospital staff on unpaid leave for not providing proof of full COVID vaccination

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: 147 staff at SickKids placed on unpaid leave for not providing proof of full vaccination status' COVID-19: 147 staff at SickKids placed on unpaid leave for not providing proof of full vaccination status
WATCH ABOVE: Nearly 150 staff members at Sick Kids Hospital have been placed on unpaid leave for not providing proof that they are fully vaccinated. Erica Vella reports – Oct 21, 2021

SickKids Hospital says 147 of its members are on unpaid leave for not providing proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The hospital said it has 8,258 staff members that include corporate, clinical and research staff who are onsite and work from home.

SickKids said as of Thursday morning, 98.2 per cent of its staff are fully immunized.

For the 147 staff members who are considered unvaccinated, 19.1 per cent have received one dose of vaccine.

Those who have not provided complete documentation of a full round of vaccination have been placed on unpaid leave, the hospital said.

Read more: Ontario science table supports COVID-19 vaccine mandates for hospital workers

“It is our hope that every staff member who is currently not fully vaccinated will become fully vaccinated at their earliest opportunity and return from leave,” SickKids said in a statement.

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The hospital said it does not anticipate any disruptions to patient care as a result of the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy.

The Ontario government’s policy is that hospital staff must either be fully vaccinated or undergo regular testing for the virus.

However, many hospitals have gone above and beyond the provincial mandate by skipping the testing option and requiring the COVID-19 vaccine to be mandatory in order to be employed.

Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table said earlier this week that it supports mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for hospital workers and that it would reduce the risk of staff shortages because fewer employees would be likely to get infected.

Read more: Several Ontario hospitals jointly enact mandatory COVID vaccine policy; extends to new hires

Premier Doug Ford asked last week whether requiring all hospital workers be immunized against the virus would worsen staff shortages and impact services.

The advisory group said a mandatory vaccination policy is evidence-based and would make hospital settings safer.

Among the general population in the province, there are 83.5 per cent of the aged 12 and older population fully vaccinated with 87.7 per cent having one dose.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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