Image copyright Reuters Image caption Toronto city council voted to send a warning letter to companies that do not provide mandatory vaccinations, starting on Thursday
Less than 1,300 Toronto employees will face suspension or termination after the city’s school vaccination mandate deadline.
A media report earlier this week had said as many as 7,000 city employees could face punishment if they were found to be illegally hiring unvaccinated workers.
City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has blasted the announcement, saying there was no evidence to justify the move.
If anyone is found to have knowingly violated the city’s new rules, they can be subject to fines and even dismissal.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Fines for a first offence are up to $1,000 Canadian dollars (£770) and $10,000 Canadian dollars (£6,000) for repeat offenders
How has the city enforced the new mandate?
The city of Toronto has given all 200,000 or so city staff three days to get vaccinated or face an internal investigation, reported CTV News.
The employees who missed the deadline were told they could continue their employment and risk being reported to the health department, but could be fined up to $1,000 Canadian dollars (£770) and up to $10,000 Canadian dollars (£6,000) for a first offence.
The company that hires the employees is also required to have vaccine records or some sort of vaccination documentation for every position they fill, although the policy does not mention vaccination.
A council meeting on Wednesday was told by city staff that a total of 938 employees were likely to face discipline or suspension.
The initiative is intended to give priority to employees with children attending city school systems.
None of the workers had already received failing grades on the vaccination test, unlike a similar experiment last October that turned out to be a failure after the city’s employees scored just 2.7% – a whopping 83.6% failure rate.
What about the vaccination record?
Following media reports on Monday, the city’s health minister, Anne McCaffrey, issued a statement acknowledging that the new vaccination mandate was “unacceptable” and that a government intervention is needed.
She added that the government can “not allow for such abysmal results to persist.”
Are other Toronto municipalities following the city’s lead?
The city of Vaughan launched its own vaccination mandate in January, which Health Canada has commended for “having a strong education component”.
Many hospitals and pharmacies also said that they will follow the new Ontario Provincial Government’s recommendation and require mandatory vaccinations.
Health Canada, which ensures that all clinical trials run by the federal government are properly managed, has also already instructed all clinical research institutions to review their protocols and work with researchers, healthcare professionals and patient groups to properly balance promoting vaccination with patient-choice and patient-interest.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Canadian Public Health Association says making the standard more stringent will improve protection against the flu and other diseases
What does the vaccine guarantee?
In Canada, all vaccines are mandatory unless they have received regulatory approval.
The flu vaccine guarantees protection against flu-related complications such as pneumonia, and also stops people getting sick as part of the three-stage influenza protocol.
Public health guidelines already recommend two vaccines against the flu, which comprise a vaccine for protection and protection against two subsequent infections, but there is no vaccine for a fifth possible strain, called varicella.
Other medical groups say it is never too late to get vaccinated, which can protect against some cancers, allergies and cancer-causing tobacco.
If you have any queries about the inoculations or what vaccines you can have, you can consult the immunisation section of the NHS website.