One-third of unvaccinated B.C. health workers in Interior Health as deadline arrives | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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One-third of unvaccinated B.C. health workers in Interior Health as deadline arrives

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Today is the deadline for health-care workers in B.C. to have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or be placed on unpaid leave.

The provincial health officer's order, which takes effect today, Oct. 26, covers doctors, nurses, students, residents, contractors, volunteers and all other health-care professionals. Those who don't have their first dose of vaccine can't work unless they have a recognized exemption.

READ MORE: As vaccination deadline looms, could more Kamloops, Okanagan care homes close?

As of Sunday, one-third of all unvaccinated workers, 1,069, work in the Interior Health region, according to data supplied by the Ministry of Health.

That’s 34.1% of the 3,402 unvaccinated workers in B.C., even though Interior Health only has 16.6% of the province’s 129,309 health-care workers covered by the public health order.

This number does not include workers in long-term care and assisted living facilities who had to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 12.

READ MORE: Vaccine mandate for B.C. health-care workers to take effect Tuesday

That data shows that 5% of Interior Health workers were unvaccinated compared to 4% in the Northern Health region, 2% in Fraser Health, Vancouver Health, Vancouver Island Health and the Provincial Health Services Authority. Only 1% of the province’s Primary Health Care workers are unvaccinated.

The Interior Health region  also has the lowest ratio of fully vaccinated workers at 90%. This compares to 92% in the Northern Health region, 95% in Vancouver Coastal and Vancouver Island, 96% in the Provincial Health Services Authority and 97% of Primary Health Care workers.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Dr. Penny Ballem, the lead of the B.C. immunization rollout team, will provide an update on COVID-19 this afternoon.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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