Earlier in the year, health authorities throughout BC (on the advice of Dr. Perry Kendall, BC’s Provincial Health Officer) agreed to ramp up efforts to protect patients and seniors from influenza exposure this flu season (read the full story). Now, after a much heated debate, the government has temporarily backed away from the controversial plan to force thousands of provincial health workers to get a flu shot before they can work with patients.
Original Influenza Policy:
Effective December 1, 2012, all staff, physicians, students, volunteers, contractors and vendors must either be immunized against the flu or wear a procedure mask while in patient care areas.
Updated BC Influenza Policy (Dec 5th):
The Ministry of Health decided that during the first year of flu policy implementation the focus will not be on enforcement. Health authorities will not be disciplining employees, but will focus on education and awareness to promote compliance with the new policy.
Unimmunized staff must still wear masks in patient care areas, and immunized staff must display the flu shot sticker on ID badges during flu season.
From our Medical Director Dr. Allan Holmes:“The following Influenza Control Policy for the Health Authorities remains in effect. The only change is that the enforcement within the Health Authorities will not be a focus in the first year. I remain support of the policy as it is designed to maximize protection for our patients.”
Learn more about influenza: