B.C. making COVID-19 vaccine a 'condition of employment' for all health-care workers

The new mandatory vaccination order will apply to a wide section of health-care workers, students and volunteers, and will come into effect Oct. 26

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B.C.’s top doctor says she will sign a new order making COVID-19 vaccinations a condition of employment for all health-care workers across the province. 

At a press conference Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the new order, set to take effect Oct. 26, would apply to broad group of people working in health care, including all workers, students, physicians, residents, contractors and volunteers.

The new mandatory vaccination rule will apply to everything from health-care clinics and hospitals to home and community care settings.

“I recognize there are some rare instances where people have a medical condition that prevents them from being fully vaccinated,” said Henry Monday. 

“We will have a process in place through my office with a committee of experts provincially to review every individual request for a medical or religious exemption.”

Henry did not elaborate on the exemption process but said details would be coming “soon.”

Henry’s office had previously made COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory at all long-term and residential care settings. 

The announcement comes the same day a new “proof of vaccination” passport took effect in B.C. The province says the scheme is aimed at allowing businesses to remain open even as health-care workers tackle a rising number of COVID-19 infections.

More to come…