Nearly all Windsor Regional Hospital staff are vaccinated — but some oppose new policy, says CEO
Hospital CEO says vaccination rate is likely above 95 per cent
The president of Windsor Regional Hospital says the overwhelming majority of staff have gotten their COVID-19 shots ahead of a new vaccination policy, but there has been some pushback — including from a "small minority" of staff.
"We're not immune to what's going on across the world with respect to anti-vax messages," said president and CEO David Musyj, who confirmed that there are doctors and nurses among those against the policy.
The hospital's vaccination rate was in the 80 per cent range prior to the announcement of the policy on Aug. 3, and could be higher than 95 per cent right now, Musyj said.
Musyj spoke to CBC Radio's Windsor Morning on Monday, just over a week before the new rules take effect.
The policy mandates that all staff and volunteers have until Sept. 22 to get their first dose, or face penalties including a two-week unpaid leave. Unless they have an approved exemption, they have until Oct. 7 to get their second dose or face termination.
There are two reasons for exemptions: one for an approved medical reason and one on human rights grounds, claims of which will be reviewed individually.
Similar policies have been set out elsewhere in the province as the delta variant fuels a COVID-19 resurgence.
Last month, Dr. Kieran Moore, the chief medical officer of health for Ontario, issued a directive ordering hospitals to set a vaccination policy.
"The way it looks like across Ontario, is every hospital is moving to the same rules pretty much," Musyj said.
Musyj said he expects the move will prompt legal challenges — but "it's the right thing to do."
"The concern is keeping people alive, keeping our community alive, keeping our staff safe, keeping our patients safe," he said.
With files from Windsor Morning