Written by By Keri Ross
About 10,000 employees of the City of Toronto have been suspended without pay over allegations that they did not have proof of their vaccinations.
Citing a lack of proof of immunization, the health department suspended 248 employees from their duties Tuesday after they were found not to have certain vaccinations that fall under the city’s green card policy.
The health department and the city said the suspension will be lifted once their employees receive the required vaccinations.
Health officials reiterated that vaccinations are vital to not only public health, but to the well-being of all those who are vaccinated.
“The Toronto Public Health immunization program plays a key role in maintaining public health and community safety,” Dr. Eileen de Villa, medical officer of health for Toronto Public Health, said in a statement. “Toronto’s green card policy helps protect our city against communicable disease by ensuring that those who work in the public, such as city workers, have adequate vaccinations to prevent infection.”
On Tuesday, Toronto Mayor John Tory said that the suspension was a result of “frustration” among city employees.
“There is a lot of frustration in the city of Toronto over this and you have seen that in some of the expressions of the health staff,” Tory said. “There is nothing more important than public health and I want to be absolutely clear this is nothing more than a cluster of bad decisions and awful consequences for a handful of individuals.”
Tory added that the risk to the public was “very small” and “minimal.”
Health officials said affected employees would be allowed to work until they were cleared.