Advertisement

All B.C. health-care workers must be vaccinated against COVID by Oct. 26: officials

Click to play video: 'B.C. officials announce new vaccine orders for health care workers' B.C. officials announce new vaccine orders for health care workers
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced at a COVID-19 update Monday, that all health-care workers in B.C. must be immunized against COVID-19 to work in a health-care facility by October 26. – Sep 13, 2021

All health-care workers in B.C. must be immunized against COVID-19 to work in a health-care facility in any part of the province, officials announced Monday.

This new measure, announced by the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, will come into effect on Oct. 26, and will apply to anyone working in acute and community care, along with people who work in home care.

Click to play video: 'B.C. announces expansion of vaccine mandate for health care workers' B.C. announces expansion of vaccine mandate for health care workers
B.C. announces expansion of vaccine mandate for health care workers – Sep 13, 2021

It will be a requirement for all workers, physicians, contractors and volunteers, Henry added.

Story continues below advertisement

“It will be a condition of employment,” she said.

“The ultimate end for those who choose not to get vaccinated who work in healthcare will be leave without pay.”

Henry added that there will be considerations for people who cannot medically receive the COVID vaccines and those cases will be looked at as they arise. She said it may mean people are reassigned to another position or it may mean more testing needs to take place.

Previously, only those working in long-term care and assisted living facilities need to be fully vaccinated against COVID.

Read more: Third COVID shot needed for severely immunocompromised people, B.C. officials say

Click to play video: 'Group against COVID-19 vaccine card gathers at B.C. Supreme Court' Group against COVID-19 vaccine card gathers at B.C. Supreme Court
Group against COVID-19 vaccine card gathers at B.C. Supreme Court – Sep 13, 2021

There are currently 139 people in ICU with COVID in B.C. Of them, 121 are unvaccinated, Health Minister Adrian Dix said Monday.

Story continues below advertisement

In addition, he said there are 38 people under 50 in the ICU with COVID in B.C. and 37 of those are unvaccinated.

From Sept. 5 to 11, Dix said 289 surgeries had to be postponed due to the pressure on the healthcare system of caring for COVID patients.

Of those surgeries, 176 were in Interior Health, 50 in Fraser Health and 63 in Vancouver Coastal Health.

Click to play video: 'B.C. family with two loved ones in COVID-19 ICU shares vaccination message' B.C. family with two loved ones in COVID-19 ICU shares vaccination message
B.C. family with two loved ones in COVID-19 ICU shares vaccination message – Sep 12, 2021

Read more: Anti-vaccine card protesters confront sheriffs outside B.C. Supreme Court

The B.C. Nurses’ Union said in a statement they have ” very significant concerns regarding today’s announcement.

“While BCNU strongly encourages nurses, other health care workers, and all members of the public to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and other communicable diseases as a preventive personal and public health measure in accordance with scientific evidence, we cannot support any order which will serve to remove even a single nurse or other health care worker from the healthcare system at a time of severe crisis,” the union said in a statement.

Story continues below advertisement

They said all other options need to be considered including possibly relocating someone to another health care setting where the workers’ safety can be managed through protections such as rapid testing and PPE.

Sponsored content