A new order has been implemented by the provincial government that will make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory across all healthcare facilities in acute and community care across British Columbia.
This will require all workers, students, physicians, contractors and volunteers who work in a healthcare facility, including contracted facilities, to be fully vaccinated.
It includes people working in settings such as home and community care locations, as well as client homes.
This new order will come into effect Oct. 26, and will be a condition of employment for healthcare workers.
A process will be in place for people who are unable to be fully vaccinated, and a review of every individual request for a medical or religious exemption will be looked over. More details on these exemptions are set to be released soon.
“There will be a central process to review these and there will be opportunities for accommodation and in some cases that may mean people being reassigned. It may mean people being assigned to separate areas and having to take additional measures like being tested on a regular basis,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry.
“But the ultimate end for people who choose not to be immunized who work in healthcare is a leave without pay."
These additional measures come after the province announced on Aug. 12 that those working in long-term care and residential facilities also must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 12.