Fewer than 1,300 city employees face suspension over Toronto’s vaccine mandate deadline

City says 113 deemed too old to be exempt from the city’s new law requiring most children to receive a single dose of the flu vaccine

Fewer than 1,300 city employees face suspension over Toronto’s vaccine mandate deadline

More than 400 city employees will face suspensions or firings as Toronto fights to comply with a court order to enforce its mandatory immunization law by the end of December.

A total of 113 were “determined to be within six months of eligibility for suspension or termination” for either delay in immunization or violations of the new law, according to an official from the Toronto’s human resources department.

Such suspensions or terminations are called for under municipal workplace safety and human rights codes and the health and welfare laws, which are included in city code.

The city of Toronto moves towards a single shot of flu vaccine for children Read more

Toronto council voted on 4 May to require all kids 6 months to 17 years old to get a single dose of the winter flu vaccine.

The decision was imposed by a Toronto judge following a legal challenge by the City of Brampton, which argued that it failed to meet the municipal code requirement of two doses.

Earlier this month, a judge ruled that Toronto’s mandatory immunization mandate would be enforced by the end of December. The city plans to use temporary staff to supervise compliance.

Toronto, Canada’s largest city, is aiming to reach 95% compliance by the end of the year.

Those who turn down the vaccination, particularly kindergartners, can be put in quarantine for five days. If families refuse a single dose of flu vaccine, then kindergarten students will be offered the shot for free.

“There is no indication that the high immunization level achieved in recent years and the tremendous support for the city’s health and community services programs will come to a halt,” a city spokeswoman said in a statement.

The city is planning to hire 250 temporary workers to oversee compliance over the next two weeks.

Ontario’s ministry of health urged parents on Friday to make sure their children received the flu shot by the end of the year. Ontario is the most populous province in Canada and home to about 10 million people.

Among the families who are exempt are those with religious or medical reasons that require exemptions. They will be able to receive a second shot at a later date.

For children who fall outside those exceptions, their families have the choice to vaccinate their children or find a new school for them.

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