Sun Peaks doctor not giving in to patient requests for false vaccine exemptions | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Sun Peaks doctor not giving in to patient requests for false vaccine exemptions

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September 10, 2021 - 11:27 AM

A doctor in Sun Peaks is refusing to write what he calls fraudulent letters after the local clinic has received multiple requests from people wanting to be exempted from COVID-19 immunization.

In an open letter, Dr. Shane Barclay said the Sun Peaks Health Centre has experienced an increasing number of patients calling to request exemptions from vaccines, but he explains that the list of who can even receive an exemption is small.

Other than the current age requirement of 12 or older to receive the vaccine, another exemption includes a two-week window between vaccine doses. The third exemption would apply to a patient who had a severe allergic reaction or anaphylactic reaction to an existing COVID vaccine, he explained in the letter.

As a physician, writing a vaccine exemption letter for anything other than those exemptions would amount to fraud, he explained.

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"A doctor can be charged, fined and potentially lose their license to practice medicine for fraud. I can't speak for other physicians, but I am not prepared to commit fraud so someone can avoid a vaccine," Dr. Barclay wrote.

Dr. Barclay was dismayed to write the letter, but it did offer insight into any potential dangers from the available vaccines to anyone who is hesitant.

According to Dr. Barclay, a patient is more likely to be struck by lightning than to experience an allergic reaction from a COVID vaccine. He wrote that reactions have been recorded to occur between two and three times per one million cases.

He added that while blood clots have occurred in some cases, and were associated with some COVID vaccines, a patient is much more likely to experience a clot if they are infected with COVID-19.

While he has heard concerns about the legality of vaccine mandates from patients, he compared current policies to seat belt laws and speed limits while driving, something Vancouver-based lawyer Kyla Lee also used as a parallel.

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Lee believes the vaccine policies coming into effect from the B.C. government are a far cry from a human rights restriction, however, because essential services are not restricted. People in B.C. will have to show proof of vaccines on Sept. 13 in order to enter certain venues and services, like restaurants and sporting events.

Dr. Barclay will continue to see all patients, vaccinated or not, but the Sun Peaks Health Centre will soon book by giving non-vaccinated patients the last appointments of the day.

"That ensures they are not in the building when potentially other patients such as children, are also in the clinic but it is primarily meant to protect the unvaccinated. It does entail full PPE for us which is more time consuming and burdensome," Dr. Barclay wrote. "Finally, it allows us to do a more thorough clean afterwards."

The Interior Health region continues to see new COVID-19 cases, with 253 new cases counted on Sept. 9. There were 774 new cases throughout the province on that day.

On Sept. 8, there were 63 people in hospital in the Interior Health region with COVID-19 and 44 of them in intensive care.

While the province has a vaccination rate of around 85% for their first doses, as of Sept. 8, nearly 80% of all new cases were in people not fully vaccinated in the week prior.

In B.C. hospitals, 86% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are for people not fully vaccinated, from Sept. 1 to 7.

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