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Quinte West council moves to make COVID-19 vaccination for city staff mandatory

Vaccine administration. Photo Courtesy of Qnet News.

By Charlotte Oduol [1]

BELLEVILLE – The city of Quinte West will likely be going ahead with the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy for it’s staff.

Council discussed the issue at its Monday evening’s meeting [2]. This policy will apply to all councillors, staff members, volunteers and committee members.

Most of the council appeared in support of the policy but not everyone was happy about the decision to move forward with it. Letters from the public were read aloud during the meeting expressing the clear disappointment with the decision, as many questioned its effectiveness and whether it was a just decision to make. 

Local resident Rose Macdonald was one of many that voiced concerns during the meeting. She said a mandatory vaccine policy for the Quinte West staff should not go forward, and medical freedom is something all residents, especially the city staff should be entitled to.

Macdonald said the decision could create potential division and discrimination against those vaccinated and those not. 

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Jim Harrison, Mayor of Quinte West listed key dates between now and the week of November 22:

Monday, Oct. 11–  Final day to notify the city of vaccination status.

Monday, Oct. 18 – First day of rapid testing for employees who have not received a full full vaccination.

November. 18– Last day to receive a second dose of the vaccine.

 November. 22– The final day to submit proof of full vaccination and any after that will result to unpaid leave or leave of absence.

Harrison said he has no option but to go forward with this policy to ensure the health and safety of the residents and staff of Quinte West.

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Michael Kotsovos from Hastings Prince Edward Board of Health, also spoke on the matter stating the importance of getting credible facts based news when researching about the vaccine.

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Council will confirm the policy on its next meeting on Oct. 18.