PUBLIC health leaders in Manitoba are developing recommendations for the government in considering mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in vulnerable settings.
Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead for the province’s COVID-19 vaccine task force, said conversations are underway related to policies in certain sectors.
"There are discussions around the merits and the downfalls of making vaccines mandatory in things like personal care homes or corrections or acute care facilities," Reimer said. "As of today, there’s no finalized recommendations from public health, but that is being discussed to come up with a recommendation."
So far in Manitoba, vaccination status has conferred additional privileges to individuals as the province rolls back pandemic restrictions.
However, government officials have noted presenting proof of immunization status to gain entry to events or establishments is not intended to be a permanent measure as more Manitobans are vaccinated.
However, in vulnerable sectors such as long-term care, at least one private, for-profit operator has already told prospective hires COVID-19 vaccination will be required.
Revera Inc., which operates 12 personal care homes in Manitoba, said COVID-19 vaccination will be a condition of employment for new hires, "except when impossible due to legitimate, established exceptions," beginning this month. Daily COVID-19 testing will be required for unvaccinated staff and PPE requirements will remain in place even after they are no longer required by government public health officials.
According to Shared Health, which oversees the operations of Manitoba’s largest hospital, new employees are currently required to confirm immunization or demonstrated immunity to rubella, measles, mumps, pertussis, Hepatitis B, and chicken pox, at entry into a position or clinical placement in a health-care practice setting.
Influenza vaccination is not mandated at Shared Health facilities.
— Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.