Alberta Health Services (AHS) announced Tuesday it will require all employees and contracted healthcare providers – including physicians and other frontline healthcare workers – to be fully immunized for COVID-19, by October 31, 2021.
In a statement, AHS said the move is a necessary step to protect patients, vulnerable and immuno-compromised Albertans, and anyone who visits or works at any AHS site, including healthcare facilities.
“This is an extraordinary but necessary measure to help protect our vital frontline healthcare teams and help us maintain a safe environment for all patients and clients” said Dr. Verna Yiu, President and CEO of Alberta Health Services.
The new policy will apply to all Alberta Health Services, Alberta Precision Labs, Carewest, CapitalCare and Covenant Health employees, members of the medical and midwifery staffs, students, and volunteers, and other persons acting on their behalf.
Contracted continuing care providers as well as all contracted healthcare workers acting on behalf of AHS are included.
The latest an employee could receive their second dose to be in compliance with the new policy is Oct 16, 2021, which allows for the two weeks that must pass to be considered fully immunized.
“Over the last year and a half, our teams have continued to provide incredible care to anyone who needs it, under extremely trying circumstances. We are grateful for their efforts and are committed to ensuring the safety of our facilities," said Yiu.
Any AHS employee who is unable to be immunized due to a medical reason or for another protected ground under the Alberta Human Rights Act will be reasonably accommodated.