Halton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani, is recommending that local employers address the need for a workplace vaccination policy to protect their workers and the public from COVID-19. Workplace vaccination policies should explain their purpose, specific actions workers must take (including providing proof of vaccination status or a medical exemption) and timelines.
These recommendations on developing a workplace vaccination policy will be posted on Halton’s COVID-19 Resources for Businesses webpage by Halton Region Public Health on August 26, 2021. Further resources to support the recommendations will be made available online next week.
“We are facing a critical time in our combined efforts against COVID-19 in Ontario,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “The rapid and continuing spread of the Delta variant of concern – with increased transmissibility and disease severity – means that we must fully engage to protect our community and our health system capacity. Getting fully vaccinated for COVID-19 is the best defense against the virus, including the Delta variant.”
Employers can also play a critical role in promoting the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine by:
- providing vaccine information from credible sources;
- providing translated resources;
- supporting vaccine champions to initiate conversations with their peers;
- providing paid leave to get vaccinated;
- reminding workers that they are legally entitled to up to three paid sick days if they have side effects from the vaccine; and
- providing transportation support to get vaccinated.
Getting a vaccine in Halton is easy. Halton Public Health vaccine clinics are offering first- and second-dose walk-in vaccinations to anyone born in 2009 or earlier. There are also over 100 pharmacies and many primary care offices providing vaccine appointments.
All residents who have been vaccinated in Ontario, or who have provided proof of their vaccination to their local public health unit, are able to access proof of their vaccination through the Provincial vaccination system (external link).
Vaccination does not replace the need for strict adherence to established COVID-19 public health measures. Employers must continue to implement all COVID-19 prevention measures for their sector outlined in provincial guidelines and Halton Region Public Health guidance including, but not limited to: screening, physical distancing, wearing of masks and eye protection, hand hygiene, infection prevention and control and a COVID-19 safety plan.
The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 595,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, call 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at halton.ca.