A motion that calls for Toronto Council to make their city staff vaccinated against the sexually transmitted human immunodeficiency virus was passed by a vote of 45 to 6, with 10 abstentions, Friday. The Toronto District School Board already requires staff to get vaccinated against the virus, which leads to acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or chlamydia, according to the motion. The motion was passed after an impassioned request by Councillor Cindy Sakakeeny, who argued that it was not just Council’s job to make TTC drivers and students more defenseless, but also the money they make.
“It’s not OK to have the work force exposed to this drug,” she said. “It takes away the capacity of the people who work for the TTC to be effective at their jobs. It sends a message that we’re gonna train and protect myself and my family rather than fighting for the whole country and for the next generation of workers that I work for.”
The virus infects the body and generally takes 10 years to develop full symptoms, though infection in people who have had unprotected sex, the elderly, and those who have poor immune systems can lead to an accelerated infection or death, according to the Canadian Centre for Disease Control. Chlamydia was the most common sexually transmitted infection in Canada in 2012, according to an ABC News report.
Canada recently introduced a bill to restrict access to the condom in Canadian schools, but the Toronto motion argues that vaccines are preventative and “essential,” and that their effectiveness and efficacy stems from their effectiveness. Despite the Conservatives’ push for free supply of vaccines as part of the Canadian National Immunization Week in January, they opposed the Toronto motion.
The vaccine, COVID-19, is more effective than its peer VIAHC-1 vaccines, which can only provide partial protection. While the vaccine is more effective than a traditional cure, it is not effective enough to prevent all cases of chlamydia, even in vaccinated people. Toronto’s new policy will be implemented on April 1, 2020.