Kelowna naturopathic doctor speaks in favour of vaccine mandate

Naturopath backs mandate

A Kelowna naturopathic doctor is speaking in support of B.C.'s new vaccine mandate for all regulated healthcare workers.

Dr. Ali McMillan says, though she can’t speak for everyone in her profession, she’s in favour of all healthcare workers being vaccinated whenever they can be.

“We often see patients with compromised immune systems and at the end of the day, their safety matters more than pretty much everything else,” said McMillian.

“So I wouldn’t want to spread a potentially life threatening infection to patients.”

With the new mandate, patients with a compromised immune system may feel safer going to see healthcare workers, McMillan added.

The vaccine mandate that applies to all health professionals in British Columbia will go into effect March 24, Bonnie Henry announced Wednesday.

“I have spoken many times about the importance of all of us as healthcare professionals doing everything we can, and it is our obligation to make sure that we're taking all of the measures to protect those patients in our care, especially the more vulnerable people that we serve,” said Henry.

“As well, it is important for us to protect our own health as part of being able to continue to contribute to the healthcare of others during this challenging time.”

McMillan says she likes the direction the province is moving towards with this mandate, however she doesn’t believe it will change much in terms of the pandemic.

“I’m not sure if this or anything else is going to bring the pandemic to an end, but it is what it is. I think people are doing their best to try and mitigate the damage,” said McMillan.

While vaccinated people are now catching the Omicron variant of the virus frequently, Dr. Henry dismissed the claims that the COVID-19 vaccine provides no protection against transmission.

“The difference in spread between somebody who’s vaccinated and (somebody who’s) unvaccinated is like saying (Canadian soccer star) Christine Sinclair and I both play soccer,” Henry said this week.

Of confirmed cases between Feb. 2 and 8 in B.C., a not vaccinated person has a case rate per 100,000 after adjusting for age of 353.0. A fully vaccinated person has a rate of 138.5.

Chiropractors are among the professions impacted by the mandate. In December, Kelowna chiropractor Mark Foullong authored a resolution for the College of Chiropractors of B.C., to “take a stand to protect and maintain the right to medical freedom of choice." Seventy-eight per cent of people in attendance supported it.

In response, the B.C. Chiropractic Association released a statement following the resolution, and stated that the association represents 85 per cent of the chiropractors in the province, and “the views expressed at the CCBC (Annual General Meeting) are not representative of the association.”

They noted that of the over 1,300 licensed chiropractors in British Columbia, approximately 15% of registrants were present in that meeting.

“The BCCA Board of Directors appreciates and fully supports the efforts of Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix as they navigate the province of BC through this global health crisis,” said the association.

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