City of Vancouver announces mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy

THE City of Vancouver on Monday announced that all City staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 6.

This new policy is a further step toward limiting the impacts of the virus on our community and aligns with the recommendation from the provincial health officer for large employers to implement vaccine mandates, the City said.

“Throughout the pandemic, the City has focused on the health and safety of its staff, local residents and businesses,” said City Manager Paul Mochrie. “We continue to follow direction from public health in our workplaces, and this mandatory vaccination policy will help provide a further level of protection against this virus for City staff and the public we serve.”

Employees who do not comply with the requirements of the new policy will not be permitted in the workplace.

The City will accommodate those employees who require an exemption from the policy on the basis of a protected legal ground, such as for medical or other grounds protected under the BC Human Rights Code. The full details of the policy are being finalized.

Public health has consistently reported that a higher percentage of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among those who are unvaccinated. Vaccines provide a high level of protection against COVID-19 and related variants, the City pointed out.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said in a statement: “Vancouver has one of the highest vaccination rates, making us one of the world’s safest cities as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Having all City staff fully vaccinated by December 6 is another step towards building on our success as a community and making sure we put the health of our workers and the public first.

“My thanks to City Manager Paul Mochrie, our City’s leadership team, union leadership, and every single employee at the City of Vancouver for demonstrating leadership in the fight against COVID-19.

“This next step will help us prepare to welcome visitors and business back to Vancouver as we continue to re-open and position our community as one of the best places in the world to live, work, and play.”