Officials must be vaccinated by Dec. 17, Newfoundland government says – .

Officials must be vaccinated by Dec. 17, Newfoundland government says – .

Newfoundland and Labrador officials must be vaccinated by Dec. 17, the provincial government announced on Friday afternoon. (Patrick Butler/Radio-Canada)

Officials in Newfoundland and Labrador will have until Dec. 17 to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the provincial government.

Premier Andrew Furey, Deputy Premier Siobhan Coady and Health Minister John Haggie announced the plan on Friday, detailing how the provincial government will manage vaccination status as workers transition from working from home to returning to work .

The policy will apply to all provincial government departments, including agencies, boards and commissions. It also applies to employees who serve vulnerable populations, including long-term and personal care homes, schools and child care services, and employees of companies where the NLVaxPass application is required.

Employees and departments will be responsible for maintaining an up-to-date list of fully immunized employees, as well as ensuring that guidelines are followed. All documentation of proof of COVID-19 vaccination, exemptions or tests will be kept in accordance with provincial freedom of information and confidentiality legislation.

“It’s another tool to help people feel safe,” Premier Andrew Furey said Friday, adding that the decision to impose vaccinations was not taken lightly. “Being fully immunized doesn’t just protect one individual, it protects us all. “

Employees who have not provided proof of full vaccination or exemption granted by Dec. 17 will be considered not following the policy, the government said.

Employees hired on or after the deadline must be fully immunized before the start date of employment. Job offers will be revoked without approved vaccinations or exemptions. The rules also apply to on-site workers who work alongside key government employees, such as salespeople and contractors.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey announced the policy on Friday. (Patrick Butler/Radio-Canada)

A person is considered fully vaccinated when at least two weeks have passed since a person’s second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Furey said the policy also applies to school teachers. He said there is room for accommodation, but cooperation is expected and refusal to comply with the policy could result in unpaid absence. He wouldn’t say if someone could be fired for refusing to get the shot.

He added that accommodations can also be made for people who can do their work from home or another location outside of a main government office, and that more on penalties and enforcement should be available on weekdays. next.

The ruling also applies to healthcare workers, according to Coady, who said it’s the province’s job to make sure people are protected.

“Our health care system is very, very strong. I know healthcare professionals understand how important it is to get the vaccine, and I think they will comply with that as well. “

Deputy Premier Siobhan Coady has said she expects workers in the province’s health care system to be vaccinated by December 17. (Patrick Butler/Radio-Canada)

The policy also includes a COVID-19 testing element that can be applied in certain cases, where a person should be tested twice a week at their own expense, but the test will not be required for people who are medically exempt.

Exemptions can only be approved for medical reasons and must be provided by an appropriate health care provider. When exemptions can’t be provided by a family doctor, Haggie said, they can be obtained from a nurse practitioner.

Furey said he expects the number of people in this group to be small, so people who are not tested should not cause a spike in cases or affect health services.

People who are allergic to an ingredient in a vaccine or have a pre-existing disease related to the vaccine, such as myocarditis, will also likely be part of a group that needs to be tested frequently, he said.

Furey said the date of December 17 was chosen to allow unvaccinated people to receive two doses of the vaccine before the deadline. While some provinces, including Quebec, have had to extend their deadlines to allow more workers to be fully immunized, he said he hopes Newfoundland and Labrador has not.

“People knew this was going to happen, and we gave them a really long trail to get the necessary vaccines,” Furey said.

“Our intention is not to change the deadline, but our intention was never to have a deadline to start. We will therefore adapt accordingly… as the virus changes. “

The policy will be reviewed at least every six months, according to the provincial government.

Read more about CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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