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GM Canada to require all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19

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GM Canada is joining the growing list of companies requiring that all employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The automaker (GM) announced Thursday that all employees, as well as contractors, vendors and visitors who enter its facilities, will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 12. 

While the company said exemptions and accommodations will be evaluated on an individual basis, they "will be rare." 

"We are joining many other companies, from multiple sectors, supporting public-health initiatives to increase vaccination rates and further reduce the impact of COVID-19 across Canada," GM spokesperson Marie Binette said in a statement. 

"Vaccination has been shown to be effective in reducing the transmission of the virus as well as reducing the health impacts if a vaccinated person does contract the virus." 

The vaccination policy will apply only to GM's approximately 5,200 Canadian employees. 

In the United States, where more than 88,400 people work for GM, the company has not instituted a similar mandatory vaccination policy but a spokesperson said it "continues to highly encourage all employees to get vaccinated." 

U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled plans last month to develop a rule to require companies with more than 100 employees to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or require that those who are unvaccinated produce a negative test result on an at least weekly basis. The mandate has yet to be enforced, but an initial draft of emergency order detailing the policy was sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review. 

GM required that all salaried employees in the U.S. report their vaccination status via a confidential reporting tool. A spokesperson for the automaker said the company is continuing to work "with a handful of employees" regarding their vaccination status and that it is almost at 100 per cent completion when it comes to receiving the disclosures. 

Alicja Siekierska is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @alicjawithaj.

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