Ronald McDonald House to implement mandatory vaccine policy

Ronald McDonald House now says families will not be forced out onto the streets if they are not vaccinated by the end of the month.

A video recently posted to social media shows a father confronting staff regarding the new vaccine mandate, which comes into effect Jan. 31. In it, the man claims his son who has leukemia was being evicted due to his vaccination status.

In the video, the staff member does not provide any suggestions that the organization will help the family find alternative accommodation.

Ronald McDonald House later issued a statement to CityNews, saying its family services team and social workers will work to find alternate housing for families who refuse to get everyone over the age of five vaccinated by the deadline.

That could mean anything from a hotel to other facilities that, like RMH, offer help to sick kids and their families.

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Ronald McDonald House sent out letters to families advising people of the policy. The video posted to social media appears to show this letter, though no description of alternative housing assistance can be seen on it.

“On the recommendation of public health, the 14 member Board of Directors made the decision to mandate vaccinations for everyone working, visiting, or staying at RMH BC & Yukon to ensure we meet the highest standards of health and safety and protect the vulnerable population we serve,” a statement emailed to CityNews reads.

“We appreciate that this policy will impact those who have made a decision not to vaccinate however, the overall health and welfare of all our residents is our primary concern.”

Since the pediatric vaccine was approved by Health Canada in November, uptick in vaccinations for children between five and 11 has been slow. As of Jan.10, 44 per cent of the eligible population in that age cohort has received their first dose in B.C.  The province is urging parents to register their children to be immunized.

A look at the breakdown of vaccination progress by age in B.C. as of Jan. 10, 2022.

A graph showing fewer than 50 per cent of children in the youngest age cohort have been immunized as of Jan. 10, 2022. (bccdc)

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