A nurse prepares to give the first COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed in Edmonton on Tuesday, December 15, 2020. Alberta Health Services is requiring its employees — including all physicians and frontline workers — to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

A nurse prepares to give the first COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed in Edmonton on Tuesday, December 15, 2020. Alberta Health Services is requiring its employees — including all physicians and frontline workers — to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

‘Necessary measure’: Alberta Health Services mandating COVID-19 vaccines for staff

Students, volunteers and medical and midwifery staff will also be required to receive both doses by Oct. 31

Alberta Health Services is requiring its employees — including all physicians and frontline workers — to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of October.

Dr. Verna Yiu, president of the provincial agency, says health-care workers have an ethical and professional responsibility to protect others.

The policy will apply to all staff who work at Alberta Health Services, Alberta Precision Labs, Carewest, CapitalCare and Covenant Health.

Students, volunteers and all medical and midwifery staff will also be required to receive both doses by Oct. 31.

Yiu says she’s confident most workers will voluntarily comply with the policy, but notes people who refuse to get vaccinated could be put on a unpaid leave of absence for compliance.

While the policy has yet to be finalized, Yiu says any employee who is unable to get immunized due to a medical exemption or another protected ground will be accommodated.

“This is a necessary measure to help protect our vital frontline health-care teams and help us maintain a safe environment for all patients and clients,” Yiu said Tuesday.

“This policy also aligns with AHS’s core values, including compassion and respect to those in our care and placing safety at the centre of all of our decisions.”

The Canadian Press

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