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Shuswap dentist blasts incoming vaccine mandate for healthcare professionals

Dentist blasts mandate

A Shuswap dentist is slamming the provincial government’s push to mandate all healthcare professionals in B.C. be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Salmon Arm’s Robert Johnson is amongst the first to speak up as a part of a group of impacted workers lobbying the government to stop the mandate going into effect on March 24.

“This is so ridiculous on so many levels that I cannot take it anymore,” he said. “We need a grassroots movement to say we are not playing this game anymore.”

In his video, Johnson said the severity of COVID-19 or his opinions on vaccines is irrelevant, but consent is “a hill you need to die on.”

“Getting this vaccine, or any vaccine, or medical procedure requires the informed consent of the patient — that consent has to be freely given,” he said in a 10 minute video uploaded to social media. “You cannot be coerced or incentivized.”

He also blasted the province’s regulatory colleges, which oversee professions like dentists and doctors as “pathological and corrupt.”

“Useless bureaucracies that can be weaponized by bad actors to tyrannize anyone who challenges the status quo,” he said.

Johnson says he does a lot of procedures not widely practiced by many other dentists in Salmon Arm.

“So where are those people supposed to go for treatment now when I’m not able to do this anymore?”

Johnson said the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. suggested members who refuse the vaccine should hire a locum or fill-in dentist to run their practice for them.

“The impact of this as far as dentists having to close their entire practice and all of their staff being laid off, or dentists where a bunch of their staff are unvaccinated and they are not going to be able to find staff anymore.”

“It’s just beyond the beyond.”

“I don’t even know what we have to do,” he said at the end of the video.

The provincial government first gave notice that it would be requiring all regulated healthcare workers to be vaccinated back in October, but didn’t announce it was moving ahead with the measure until last month.

“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,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Feb. 9.

The mandate impacts 39 listed professions, ranging from pharmacists to traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists.

With it going into effect in just under three weeks, impacted professionals are organizing to push back. Castanet News has spoke with healthcare workers who claim to be a part of a larger group, but so far, very few professionals opposed to the mandate have been willing to go on the record about it so far.

Johnson said he made his video in the hopes of inspiring others to speak up.

On Thursday, Alberta announced it is lifting vaccine mandates for public sector workers.

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