A new order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) regarding mandatory vaccination for health professionals has been posted: Hospital and Community (Health Care and Other Services) COVID-19 Vaccination Status Information and Preventive Measures – October 14th, 2021. Registrants will want to familiarize themselves with the content of this order, including those working in the contexts addressed by the order:
- Registrants who are employed by a regional health authority, the Provincial Health Services Authority, British Columbia Emergency Health Services, the Providence Health Care Society, or a provincial mental health facility
- Registrants who are contracted or funded by a regional health authority, the Provincial Health Services Authority, British Columbia Emergency Health Services, the Providence Health Care Society, Ministry of Health, or Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, to provide health care or services in a hospital or in the community
- Registrants contracted or funded by a person contracted or funded by a regional health authority, the Provincial Health Services Authority, British Columbia Emergency Health Services, the Providence Health Care Society, Ministry of Health, or Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, to provide health care or services in a hospital or in the community
Note that students accessing these care locations must also comply.
Registrants who have questions about whether they are impacted by this order should consult with their employer or contract manager.
Please note, section L of the order includes a general notice to health professionals practicing in a private sector context:
- L. NOTICE TO HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
“TAKE NOTICE that in accordance with further direction from me, health professionals to be determined by me and their staff, not otherwise required to be vaccinated under the Residential Care COVID-19 Preventive Measures Order or this Order, will be required to be vaccinated by a date to be determined by me, in order to provide health care or services in the Province.”
The College continues to follow this issue closely, and will continue to provide updates to registrants as new information becomes available.
College position on PHO orders and vaccination
CSHBC supports the PHO’s vaccine requirements for health professionals to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These are important measures needed to help protect British Columbians, including those who continue to be vulnerable to severe illness and death from COVID-19, even if they are vaccinated. The public needs to have confidence that when they receive health care from a health professional, they are not putting their health at risk.
We recognize that the vast majority of registrants are already taking the responsibility to help eliminate COVID-19 in our communities by getting vaccinated themselves and diligently following COVID-19 prevention practices at work.
We continue to encourage all Registered Audiologists (RAUDs), Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioners (RHIPs), and Registered Speech-Language Pathologists (RSLPs), and every eligible British Columbian, to get vaccinated. This is the best way to protect our patients/clients from harm and preserve our ability to safely deliver health services. When you get vaccinated, you are not only protecting yourself against COVID-19, but also everyone around you.
While we strongly support vaccination for all our registrants, CSHBC does not have a proactive enforcement role in mandatory vaccination.
Prevention of COVID-19
Remember the actions you can take to protect yourself, your patients/clients and your colleagues, include:
- Getting vaccinated
- Referring to the infection prevention and control guidelines provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control, including wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing wherever possible, practicing good hand hygiene, and sanitizing high touch surfaces
- Always responding to patient/client questions and concerns about COVID-19 immunization or related health issues in line with:
- your scope of practice
- provincial public health guidance
- accepted science and best practices
BCCDC provides infection control information and signage to prevent the spread of infection in your health care facility.