Vaccine mandates are a fact of life for frontline non-profits and charities — here’s how they feel about it.

Frontline non-profit and charity staff are overwhelmingly in favour of vaccine mandates, sector leaders say, but opinions vary on whether clients should be vaccinated to access on-site programming.

Why It Matters

Clients served by shelters, food banks, drop-in centres, and other frontline social impact organizations are among the most vulnerable members of Canadian society — and it is nearly impossible to provide many effective community services while physically distanced.

At The Alex Community Health Centre, CEO Joy Bowen-Eyre didn’t have to unilaterally impose a vaccine mandate on the nearly 500 staff, contractors, and volunteers at the charity in northeast Calgary.

They asked her to do it first.

“We had staff who felt that the Alex was taking a leadership role by stepping in and wanting to do this,” Bowen-Eyre told Future of Good. When she sent out an all-staff email asking for feedback on a mandatory vaccine policy, later implemented in October, no one was horrified.

Creating a vaccine mandate for The Alex was a lot easier than it might be for smaller non-profits or charities. The Alex has a medical director and associate medical director on its team. It also works closely with Alberta Health Services, the province’s health agency, who offered guidance on the nitty-gritty of a vaccination policy.

In Canada, emplo

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