Message to our Community: Staff Vaccinations at SHN

Making sure SHN has the safest possible environment for our patients, their families, and our healthcare team is our top priority.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have relied on safety measures to protect people in our hospitals and clinics – including hand hygiene, physical distancing, restricted visitor policies and appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Thanks to their on-going commitment to our patients, families, colleagues, and the community, our incredible SHN team has truly changed the course of the pandemic in Scarborough.

How SHN is using vaccines to keep our community safe

Building on the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s implementation of Directive #6 and in line with hospitals across the province, we took our commitment to safety one step further by requiring all SHN employees, medical staff, volunteers, students, and learners to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have a valid medical exemption. The new policy was announced on August 31 and came into effect on September 7, 2021.

SHN team members who have not provided proof of the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or acceptable medical exemption by October 1, 2021 will be placed on unpaid leave and, if they have not provided proof of their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or acceptable medical exemption by October 15, 2021, their employment or privileges will be subject to termination discussions.

SHN team members who are not fully vaccinated (i.e. 2 doses of an approved vaccine with at least 14 days since the second dose) may continue to work, but are required to undergo three-times weekly testing in our SHN COVID Assessment Centres and complete their vaccination process as soon as possible.

You can read SHN’s full COVID-19 Vaccination Policy here.

Positive impact of SHN’s vaccination coverage   

We are proud to share that, to date, 95% of our staff and close to 100% of our active physicians have provided proof of vaccination.

Thanks to the rising number of vaccinated healthcare workers, we’ve seen fewer hospital outbreaks, reduced risk of transmission, and better outcomes for our patients. This means we are currently able to manage patient volumes with our existing beds and we can reduce the backlog of surgeries and diagnostic tests that were put on hold during the pandemic.

As one of the hardest hit communities during this pandemic, and because of the proven effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine, our goal is that 100% of our health care workers are fully-vaccinated with one of these life-saving vaccines. We know that more vaccinations are the way to end the pandemic, and that’s exactly what we continue to see: more vaccinations.

There is still work to be done. If we raise our vaccination rate, protect ourselves and others with masking and expanded testing we can, and will, turn the tide on COVID-19.

How SHN is supporting staff

We value every member of our SHN team and are committed to supporting people who have questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines in their journey toward vaccination.

Since our COVID Immunization policy was announced, we have offered SHN team members vaccine education materials, information sessions, Staff Town Halls, counselling, and support from our innovative VaxFacts clinic.

SHN has a process for assessing requests for accommodation or exemption from the COVID-19 Vaccine Policy, and such requests are being reviewed on an individual basis.

We know that the COVID-19 vaccines are helping to create a safer environment in which to work and receive care. We will continue to provide innovative, inclusive, courageous, and compassionate care for our patients and community.

We want to assure our community that SHN is putting your safety first and providing a healthy and safe environment for you and your loved ones to receive care.

Thank you for your continued support for our health network.