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Alberta Health Services says it is rescinding its COVID-19 immunization policy for its workers.

The agency says workers, as well as new hires and students, will no longer be required to have at least two vaccine doses.

It says vaccines continue to provide strong protection against serious effects from COVID-19, but there is emerging evidence that the shots have become less protective against infection.

AHS says COVID-19 vaccines available to date target the original strain of the virus.

It says evidence shows that immunization without boosters has limited effectiveness in reducing transmission of the Omicron variants currently circulating.

The agency says its work force continues to be required to stay home when sick, wear required personal protective equipment and practise hand hygiene.

“The immunization policy was implemented to protect patients, health-care workers and the public at a time during the pandemic when the immunization required by the policy was still effective in preventing transmission and when it was needed most to help contain the spread of COVID-19,” Mauro Chies, the interim president and CEO of AHS, said in a statement Monday.

“Policies and procedures have had to constantly evolve during the pandemic to reflect significant changes in the virus itself and the ever-changing evidence base as we continue to protect our people and patients.”

AHS says it will continue to monitor scientific evidence to assess the need for additional measures.

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