Take your frustrations out on COVID and politicians, not healthcare workers: Premier Horgan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Take your frustrations out on COVID and politicians, not healthcare workers: Premier Horgan

Premier John Horgan speaks to reporters at a news conference detailing the rollout of the province's vaccine card, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.
September 07, 2021 - 4:32 PM

Following a number of protests against vaccination passports in front of B.C. hospitals last week, government officials have a couple of clear messages.

“Those who want to make this more than what it is, I don’t have much to say to them other than, if you have a grievance you should take it to our elected representatives, not to our health care system,” Premier John Horgan said today, Sept. 7 during a news briefing to outline how the new B.C. Vaccine Card will be implemented.

READ MORE: Here’s how to get your B.C. COVID-19 vaccination card

Starting Sept. 13, the card will be phased in until Oct. 24 when everyone will need it to prove they’ve had two vaccines before they can enter places like restaurants, night clubs and concerts.

“This is not about restricting people rights,” Horgan said. “This is about giving more rights to people who have taken steps to protect themselves. There will be no services denied to British Columbians as a result of the vaccine card. There will be no inability of people to go grocery shopping, to go into retail establishments.”

Municipal and provincial services will also continue to be available to everyone, regardless of vaccination status, he said.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said, at the same news briefing, that she knows how frustrated people are living with COVID restrictions for so long.

She told the story of a friend who was driving home with her children last year. The kids were complaining about not being able to see their friends because of COVID. Their mother stopped the car, they all went outside and yelled that they hated COVID.

READ MORE: As B.C. prepares for vaccine passports, study breaks down reasons for opposition

Dr. Henry, who is famous for her calls to be calm, be safe and be kind, echoed that sentiment.

“Lets all get out and let’s just shout at the top of our lungs: I hate COVID!” she exclaimed. “Don’t take it out on that business. Take it out on the virus.”

Health officials have said that part of the reason for bringing in a vaccine card is to encourage people who haven’t bothered to get vaccinated to have it done.

That’s worked to some extent.

Since the card was announced two weeks ago, there’s been a 200% increase in the number of people registering to get vaccinated, Horgan said.

Health Minister Adrian Dix pointed out those 19 to 24 have been leading that drive and are now above the provincial first dose vaccination rate of 85.1 per cent.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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