Alberta Health Services (AHS) has announced that having a COVID-19 vaccine will no longer be a condition of employment, effective immediately.
Along with current staff, new hires and students are also no longer required to have COVID-19 vaccination.
The Immunization of Workers for COVID-19 Policy came into effect during the Delta variant wave and required healthcare workers to be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines.
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In a release, AHS explained that their requirements weren’t as effective against new strains of the virus as they used to be.
“While vaccines continue to provide strong protection against serious illness, the decision to rescind the policy is the result of emerging evidence that the immunization required by the policy, which is one dose of an approved one-dose vaccine or two doses of an approved two-dose vaccine, has become less protective against infection. The COVID-19 vaccines available to date target the original strain of the virus and the virus has evolved since then.”
Mauro Chies, interim president and CEO for AHS says the healthcare workers that did get the vaccines are appreciated.
“We are extremely grateful to all of those healthcare workers who are fully immunized,” Chise said “We would like to thank our key healthcare stakeholders, including our union partners and regulators, for their ongoing support and advocacy for immunization.”
Healthcare workers are still required to wear PPE and stay home if they feel sick.