Human Resources Legislative Update
Ministry Issues Updated Directive for Vaccination Requirements in Long-Term Care Homes
Date: November 12, 2021
On November 4, 2021, the Minister of Long-Term Care issued an updated Long-term care home COVID-19 immunization policy directive (Directive). The Directive is effective as of November 4, 2021 and replaces the previous version dated October 1, 2021, which we covered in our HR HealthCheck of October 13, 2021.
Under the Directive, every licensee of a long-term care home must ensure that any staff, support worker, student placement or volunteer who began working or attending the home on or prior to October 1, 2021 and has provided proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by November 15, 2021, provide proof of a final required dose by December 13, 2021. Staff, support workers, student placements and volunteers who have not provided proof of a first dose or documentation of a valid medical contraindication by the November 15, 2021 deadline will not be permitted to enter a long-term care home to work, train or volunteer (with limited exceptions).
As set out in the related Resource Guide and FAQs document, the latest recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) states that the optimal interval between the first and second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is eight weeks. The Directive was therefore updated to provide individuals who received a first dose of the vaccine the option of receiving their second dose at the NACI recommended interval of eight weeks.
Homes that have introduced mandatory vaccination policies with deadlines earlier than November 15, 2021 may want to consider whether any adjustments are needed to their policies without going beyond the December 13, 2021 deadline outlined in the Directive.
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