OTTAWA — RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki is publicly touting vaccination against COVID-19 following the Liberal government's announcement that Mounties must be immunized.
In a tweet Thursday, Lucki urged getting vaccinated without delay, saying it could "save your life or the life of someone you love."
Under a federal policy announced Wednesday, core public servants, including members and reservists of the RCMP, must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
They are required to confirm vaccination by Oct. 29, or be placed on administrative leave without pay as early as Nov. 15.
The National Police Federation, which represents front-line RCMP officers, said Thursday it was reviewing details of the new federal policy and would soon issue a statement to members.
On Wednesday, Lucki tweeted that the RCMP is committed to having all employees fully vaccinated in the fight against the virus. "Our presence in hundreds of communities across Canada makes it critical to support the health and safety of all Canadians."
On Thursday, she thanked Dr. Peter Clifford, the RCMP's chief medical adviser, for his message of encouragement to national police force employees.
In the message, Clifford tells members that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is critical to keeping safe from severe and possibly fatal illness.
"Think of it this way. As a police officer, you wear body armour because it could save your life if you get shot," Clifford says in the video posted on the RCMP website.
"When you get in a vehicle, you wear a seatbelt because it could save your life in an accident."
A vaccine acts very much the same way, he says. "It's like body armour or a seatbelt for your lungs. It's not a guarantee that you will never get sick, but if you do, it's the reason you'll survive."
The video advises RCMP members to report their vaccine status to divisional occupational and health services.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2021.
Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press