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BC: COVID vaccination now mandatory for workers in long-term care

Two doses required by October 12, 2021

Thursday August 12, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends

Workers in BC long-term care and assisted living facilities are now be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. They will need to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 12.

The mandatory vaccination requirement applies to all health-care workers, visitors, volunteers and personal service workers in long-term care and assisted living facilities. It applies to both government and privately owned facilities.

The official Public Health Order was brought into place due to continued transmission of the highly-transmissible Delta variant (workers infecting residents). As of the last week of July, about 96% of all test-positive COVID samples in BC had been caused by the Delta variant.

Dr Bonnie Henry, August 12 2021
BC Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry addressed media to announce the new mandatory vaccination order for health-care workers in long-term care, August 12, 2021.

This announcement was made by Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry at 12 noon today.

Full vaccination requires two doses:

Full vaccination requires two doses of COVID-19 vaccines as approved in Canada (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssenn). Currently the interval between doses is 28 days, though Dr Henry has often said that 6 to 8 weeks is preferred, if not longer.

Back to a long-term care focus:

We’re now in the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and today’s announcement almost brings things full circle, in the sense the initial emphasis of the COVID pandemic management was focussed on long-term care.

In the first wave of the pandemic most of the deaths were among residents of long-term care. When COVID-19 vaccines became available in December 2020 the priority of vaccination delivery was in residents and workers in long-term care.

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