COVID-19 vaccination policy

Committed to health and safety

Heart & Stroke recognizes Health Canada’s guidance that vaccinations are one of the most effective ways to protect our families, communities and ourselves against COVID-19. Data has shown that people who have a heart condition or vascular disease, or who have had a stroke, are at higher risk of complications if they are infected with COVID-19. That’s why it is critical we do everything we can do to reduce COVID-19 transmission.  

For this reason, we have developed a vaccination policy that requires all Heart & Stroke employees to be fully vaccinated unless they have a valid exemption. Volunteers, third-party service providers and others must also be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to work in a Heart & Stroke office. Other safety measures include the health self-screening tool, cleaning protocols, and hand washing reminders. Individuals in the office may mask and physical distance as they deem appropriate for themselves.

Heart & Stroke national policy – COVID-19 vaccination

Heart & Stroke is a leading national health charity dedicated to advancing evidence-based science in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and stroke. In keeping with Health Canada’s guidance, we actively promote vaccinations as one of the most effective ways to protect our families, communities and ourselves against COVID-19.

The health and safety of Heart & Stroke employees, volunteers and others are our top priority and vaccinations are a critical part of our new ways of working strategy as we return to in-person work, meetings and events. We have developed this policy based on the latest public health protocols. This policy may be revised to reflect the latest health guidance.


For the purpose of this policy:

  • “Fully vaccinated” or “full vaccination” means that the individual has received all doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as authorized by Health Canada (including any required boosters, where eligible) and has completed the two-week waiting period following vaccination. 
  • “Proof of full vaccination” refers to a COVID-19 vaccine dose administration document, certificate or receipt, or an electronic vaccine passport that has been provided by a provincial/territorial government in Canada and that shows the individual has been fully vaccinated. 
  • “Third-party service providers” refers to an external party or individual who is not a Heart & Stroke employee or volunteer contractually engaged by Heart & Stroke to carry out Heart & Stroke business (e.g., contractor). 
  • “Congregate setting” describes a Heart & Stroke-organized meeting/event for Heart & Stroke related business outside of the office.

This policy applies to all Heart & Stroke employees, volunteers and third-party service providers. 

Policy details

Full vaccination required for Heart & Stroke in-office work and congregate settings
All Heart & Stroke employees are required to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of full vaccination. 

Volunteers are required to be fully vaccinated if they wish to or are required to enter a Heart & Stroke office.  

Third-party service providers are required to be fully vaccinated and attest to their (or their employees’) vaccination status if they are required to enter a Heart & Stroke office.  

Unvaccinated employees
Heart & Stroke will accommodate an employee who has a human rights-based exemption to vaccination (e.g., medical) to the point of undue hardship. Heart & Stroke will require these employees to provide appropriate documentation to substantiate the exemption claimed. 

If an employee has chosen not to be vaccinated due to personal reasons (i.e. reasons other than human rights-based exemptions), then Heart & Stroke will meet with the person to evaluate whether they are able to work entirely remotely until such time as the employee provides proof of full vaccination. Heart & Stroke reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to take whatever necessary actions may be required to enforce this policy and maintain a safe workplace up to and including the termination of an employee’s employment.

Unvaccinated volunteers
If a volunteer wishes, or is required, to attend a Heart & Stroke office but is not vaccinated, Heart & Stroke will aim to provide alternate ways for this individual to work or connect with Heart & Stroke remotely, wherever reasonably possible.  

Unvaccinated third-party service providers
If a third-party service provider wishes, or is required, to attend a Heart & Stroke office but is not vaccinated, then Heart & Stroke will consult with the provider or its representatives to determine, at Heart & Stroke’s sole discretion, if the provider’s services are temporarily suitable for remote performance. If not, Heart & Stroke may suspend or terminate the provider’s services. 

Providing proof of full vaccination
All employees are required to provide proof of full vaccination as requested by Heart & Stroke through completion of the COVID-19 Vaccination Confirmation Module in our “Learn as One” secure portal which is compliant with privacy protocols. 

All volunteers, third-party service providers and individuals (e.g. donors, guests, event participants, media, potential volunteers, government officials) who wish, or are required, to attend a Heart & Stroke office are required to read and assess their health according to  the ‘health self-screening form’ posted in the office.

Heart & Stroke reserves the right to independently confirm the authenticity of a proof of full vaccination. It is a violation of this policy to make a false statement regarding vaccination status and/or to submit false vaccination documentation. Those in violation will be subject to corrective action, including the discipline of employees up to and including termination for just cause, or the cessation of Heart & Stroke’s relationship with volunteers or third-party service providers.

Other safety protocols

Health screening is mandatory prior to entering a Heart & Stroke office or before attending a congregate setting. The ‘Health self-screening tool includes health questions related to communicable diseases symptoms  and a declaration confirming individuals are fully vaccinated.  

Masking and physical distancing are not required when in a Heart & Stroke office or congregate setting. However, masks and physical distancing can be a layer of protection against the spread of respiratory viruses and individuals can make personal decisions to wear a mask or physically distance.


The Heart & Stroke COVID-19 vaccination policy is effective January 10, 2022. Heart & Stroke’s safety protocols will be reviewed periodically to reflect new developments to the pandemic situation and in accordance with the latest public health guidance. Communications will be updated and distributed to staff, volunteers and others to reflect any changes in our policy.

Executive champion

The executive champion for this policy is the Senior Vice President of Culture, Talent and Diversity. 

Effective: January, 2022
Revised: March, 2023