B.C. to expand vaccine mandate for doctors, dentists in private practice soon: minister

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WATCH: Global BC legislative reporter, Richard Zussman, and legislative bureau chief Keith Baldrey host this week's edition of Focus BC. Health Minister Adrian Dix joins Richard to discuss continuing the COVID-19 mandates in the province and why Northern and Interior Health are bearing the brunt of the restrictions right now. In addition, Keith looks at vaccine hesitancy and why people are still digging in their heels. – Nov 5, 2021

British Columbia’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health-care workers will soon be expanded to include doctors, dentists and other professionals working in private practices, the province’s health minister said Friday.

Adrian Dix said the Ministry of Health was working with professional colleges to implement to measure.

This is critical for the provisions of health-care services. I think it’s as important for family doctors and for dentists and for people working in the community to be vaccinated — the vast majority of them are,” Dix said.

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“This will be a condition of licence for people.”

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British Columbia’s existing vaccine mandate for health-care workers. which took effect Oct. 26, did not cover those working in private practices or who do not have privileges at a hospital or health-care facility.

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Those workers were put on notice on Oct. 15 that they, too, will be required to be vaccinated at a future, unspecified date.

Dix said existing mandates for health-care workers and staff in long-term care and assisted living had been effective, with 98 and 97 per cent compliance, respectively.

Sources told Global News the expanded order could come as early as this week, and would likely roll out on a profession-by-profession basis, starting with doctors.

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