As of yesterday, Alberta Health Services (AHS) workers no longer need to be immunized with a COVID-19 vaccine in order to work or gain employment.
The Alberta government made the announcement Monday afternoon stating, “while vaccines continue to provide strong protection against serious illness, the decision to rescind the policy is the result of emerging evidence that the immunization required by the policy, which is one dose of an approved one-dose vaccine or two doses of an approved two-dose vaccine, has become less protective against infection.”
The province says evidence shows that immunization without boosters has limited the effectiveness in reducing transmission of the Omicron variants.
“We continue to recommend COVID-19 immunization, including all booster doses available, to all of our healthcare workers as part of our overall approach to protect patients and one another. The safety of our patients and healthcare workers is of the utmost importance to AHS,” Mauro Chies, the interim president and CEO of AHS, said in a statement Monday.
“The immunization policy was implemented to protect patients, healthcare workers and the public at a time during the pandemic when the immunization required by the policy was still effective in preventing transmission and when it was needed most to help contain the spread of COVID-19. This was the right policy at the time, and was based on the best evidence available to protect our staff and patients.”
The province continues to strongly recommend getting the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters as a way to prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19.
AHS says it will continue to monitor scientific evidence and assess the need for future additional measures.