Vaccination Policy

Purpose

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County (BBBSPC) is committed to providing a safe environment
for our employees, volunteers, clients and members of the public with whom we interact regularly.
The purpose of the Vaccination Policy (the “Policy”) is to provide guidelines pertaining to the
expectations and requirements with respect to COVID-19 and vaccination. In our day-to-day
operations, we have a responsibility to protect all employees, the people we serve and the
community in which we operate. It is for this reason that it is critical that BBBSPC and its staff take
any and all precautions to protect against COVID-19.
This policy will take effect November 1, 2021.

SCOPE

This Policy applies to all BBBSPC employees, volunteers, and any other individuals employed or
contracted to provide service in any capacity to BBBSPC.

Reasons to get Vaccinated

1. Vaccine-preventable diseases have not gone away
The viruses and bacteria that cause illness and death still exist and can be passed on to
those who are not protected by vaccines.

2. Vaccines will help keep you healthy
Vaccines can prevent short term illnesses and prevent long term chronic disability or
increased risk of cancer depending on disease.

3. Vaccines are important to your overall health along with proper diet and exercise

Vaccines play an important part of maintaining health along with eating healthy foods,
exercising, and getting regular check-ups. They are one of the most convenient and safest
preventive care measures available.

4. Vaccination can mean the difference between life and death

Vaccine-preventable infections can be deadly. For example, up to August 2021 there
have been 28,600 deaths in Canada due to Covid-19.

5. Vaccines are safe

Potential side effects associated with vaccines are uncommon and much less severe than
the diseases they prevent.

6. Vaccines will not cause the diseases they are designed to prevent

Vaccines contain either killed or weakened viruses, making it impossible to get the
disease from the vaccine.

7. Young and healthy people can get very sick, too

Infants and older adults are at increased risk for serious infections and complications, but
vaccine-preventable diseases can strike anyone. If you are young and healthy, getting
vaccinated can help you stay that way.

8. Vaccine-preventable diseases are expensive

Diseases not only have a direct impact on individuals and their families, but also carry a
high price tag for society as a whole.

9. When you get sick, your children, grandchildren, and parents may be at risk, too

Adults are the most common source of pertussis (whooping cough) infection in infants
which can be deadly for babies. When you get vaccinated, you are protecting yourself and
your family as well as those in your community who may not be able to be vaccinated.
10. Your family and co-workers need you
Millions of adults get sick from vaccine-preventable diseases, causing them to miss work
and leaving them unable to care for those who depend on them, including their children
and/or aging parents.
https://www.nfid.org/immunization/10-reasons-to-get-vaccinated/

POLICY

A. Mandatory Vaccination

Following the recommendation of Nova Scotia Public Health, it is the position of BBBSPC that all
staff and volunteers are required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Vaccines
include all those approved by Health Canada & Nova Scotia Public Health.

https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/vaccine/#approved-vaccines

https://novascotia.flow.canimmunize.ca/en/portal

Staff and volunteers of BBBSPC must provide visual, confirmation of their vaccination status
(vaccinated/not vaccinated) and may be asked to verify their identification.
Accepted identification includes:
• driver’s licence
• government issued identification (ID) card
October 2021
• Health Card
• passport
• Secure Certificate of Indian Status
• student identification (ID) card

Exceptions for COVID-19 vaccination

Medical exception can be made as set by Nova Scotia Public Health. Exceptions can be made
by a nurse practitioner or doctor. Exceptions can also be made:

Medical criteria

A medical exception for COVID-19 vaccination will only be granted if you have:

• history of severe allergic reaction (like anaphylaxis) after previous administration of a
COVID-19 vaccine using a similar platform (mRNA or viral vector)

• allergy to any component of the specific COVID-19 vaccine or its container (polyethylene
glycol for Pfizer’s Comirnaty and Moderna’s Spikevax COVID-19 vaccines)

• history of major venous or arterial thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following vaccination
with AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria COVID-19 vaccine

• history of capillary leak syndrome following vaccination with AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria
vaccine

• history of myocarditis or pericarditis after a first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine
(Pfizer Comirnaty or Moderna Spikevax)

• experienced a serious adverse event after receiving your first dose of COVID-19 vaccine
(a serious adverse event is defined as life-threatening, requires in-patient hospitalization
or prolongs an existing hospitalization, results in persistent or significant disability,
incapacity or in a congenital anomaly or birth defect)

 

A medical exception can only be granted by a nurse practitioner or doctor. Don’t go to an
emergency department to request a medical exception (they can’t provide an exception).
To get a medical exception, you need to meet 1 of the medical criteria and contact a nurse
practitioner or doctor to discuss your medical exception status (they will determine if you qualify
for an exception). If you don’t have a healthcare provider, call 811 to determine if you
qualify for an exception. If you qualify, 811 will refer you to a nurse practitioner or doctor for a
medical exception.

People who receive a medical exception for COVID-19 vaccination receive a Valid Medical
Contraindication for COVID-19 Vaccination letter. You need to present the letter anywhere in
Nova Scotia proof of full vaccination is required.

Religion Exception

Religion exceptions can be made. Only religious beliefs that are sincerely held and connected to
a faith will be accommodated in the areas protected under the Human Rights Act.
https://humanrights.novascotia.ca/vaccines-workplace-and-other-public-spaces.

B. Accommodations

Where an individual provides an exception for having not received a COVID-19 vaccination,
BBBSPC will work with the individual to develop and implement an appropriate accommodation (if
available).
Accommodations may include the following:
• virtual meetings
• virtual programs
• teleconferencing

C. Non-Compliance

If a staff member fails to provide proof of vaccination or exception, it is assumed they are not
vaccinated and disciplinary action may include suspension.
If a volunteer fails to provide proof of vaccination or exception, it is assumed they are not
vaccinated and accommodation will be made if available.

Activities/Events

Proof of vaccination will be required for all activities and events as per Nova Scotia Public Health
directives.

https://novascotia.ca/reopening-plan/phase-five/

Entry to Facility

Proof of vaccination is not required for the general public when entering the offices of BBBSPC,
however Covid protocols will still be in place (physical distancing, signing in, hand sanitizing,
masks, etc.)

CONFIDENTIALITY

Information relating to an individual’s proof of vaccination/exception will remain in their
confidential Human Resources/Volunteer file for the purposes of ensuring the safety of
BBBSPC’s employees, volunteers, children and community.

CONTACT FOR INTERPRETATION

Please contact the Executive Director with any questions