Vaccine mandate for B.C. health-care workers to take effect Tuesday

Health-care mandate looms

Premier John Horgan says he's hopeful that a small number of B.C. health-care workers who are still resistant to getting vaccinated against COVID-19 will get the information they need to make the choice for vaccination.

The deadline for all health-care workers in the province to be fully vaccinated is Tuesday.

Horgan says the majority of health-care workers are immunized and often perplexed about why others wouldn't follow the science behind vaccination and the advice of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Last week, Health Minister Adrian Dix said seven per cent of health-care workers within the Interior Health region were unvaccinated. Across B.C., 5,500 staff were reporting as unvaccinated.

The vaccine mandate will apply to everyone who works in health-care settings, including students, doctors, contractors and volunteers.

Those who don't have their first dose by the deadline can't work unless they have a recognized medical exemption.

Workers who get their first shot before Nov. 15 can resume working seven days after the first dose, but they must wear personal protective equipment and take other precautions until they have their second dose, which must be no more than 35 days after the initial dose.

Staff at long-term care homes and assisted living facilities needed to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 12.

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