Province mandates COVID-19 vaccine policies for long-term care homes

Unvaccinated long-term care staff will have to prove medical exemption or take education program

TORONTO – As of July 1, all long-term care homes across the province must have an immunization policy in place, the Ontario government announced on May 31.

Staff working at long-term care homes who opt out of being vaccinated will have to either provide proof of a medical exemption or take an educational program addressing how COVID-19 vaccines work, safety regarding the development of COVID-19 vaccines, the risks of going unvaccinated, the benefits of being vaccinated and possible side effects.

“We want to build on the success of our long-term care vaccination campaign to date,” stated long-term care minister Dr. Merrilee Fullerton in a May 31 press release.

“That’s why we’re leading the way with new measures to promote full immunization among long-term care staff.”

Across the province, it’s estimated at least 89 per cent of long-term care staff are at least partially vaccinated and 66% are fully vaccinated.

Overall immunization rates, not those of individual staff, will be reported to the province along with implementation of immunization policies.