Effective October 26, all healthcare workers in BC will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, alongside Health Minister Adrian Dix, made the announcement on Monday afternoon in a press conference.
Earlier in the province’s ongoing response to COVID-19, BC health officials made this a mandate in long-term care.
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The rule now applies to all healthcare workers.
“This includes all people, all workers, students, physicians, residents contractors and volunteers who work in a health care facility including contracted facilities, which are accessible to patients, and where they receive services, so it also includes people who work in settings such as home and community care locations, including clients homes,” said Dr. Henry.
Dr. Henry acknowledged that some people may have valid reasons for an exemption.
“I recognize that there are some rare instances where people may have a medical condition that prevents them from being fully vaccinated,” she said.
Exemptions will be reviewed by Dr. Henry’s office.
She also acknowledged the public opposition from a vocal minority of BC residents to the BC Vaccine Card, adding that it was unacceptable to take frustrations out on frontline healthcare workers, who have been working to exhaustion during the pandemic.