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Update on vaccination requirement for health professionals

VICTORIA – In follow-up to the notice given to health professionals in October 2021, the provincial health officer is finalizing, in consultation with all health professional colleges, an order that requires all regulated health professionals to be vaccinated by March 24, 2022, to work in their occupation in British Columbia.

The purpose of this provincial health officer order is to protect patients from being infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus by unvaccinated health professionals, as well as to minimize the number of people being hospitalized or dying because of the virus. This order will ensure patients have confidence they are protected in all health-care settings and will align with the existing requirements for health-care workers working in long-term, acute and community care.

The order provides the colleges the tools they need to collect information about the vaccination status of their registrants and to communicate to registrants who have not confirmed their vaccination status that they may not provide health services. Colleges must then follow up and investigate any instances where health professionals continue to provide health services not in compliance with the order.

Under the order, regulated health professionals who are vaccinated with one dose before March 24, 2022, may continue to work as long as they receive a second dose 28-35 days after their first dose.

Updates will be provided as consultation on the order is completed. The order applies to the following health professions:

* acupuncturists

* audiologists

* chiropractic doctors (chiropractors)

* certified dental assistants

* dental hygienists

* dentists

* dental technicians

* dental therapists

* denturists

* dietitians

* hearing instrument practitioners

* massage therapists

* midwives

* naturopathic physicians (naturopaths)

* nurse practitioners

* registered nurses

* occupational therapists

* opticians

* optometrists

* pharmacists

* pharmacy technicians

* physical therapists (physiotherapists)

* physicians and surgeons

* podiatric surgeons (podiatrists)

* licensed practical nurses

* registered psychiatric nurses

* psychologists

* speech-language pathologists

* traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners

Health-care workers who work for health authorities and agencies funded by health authorities as well as all long-term care and seniors’ assisted-living workers are already required to be fully vaccinated.

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