More than 3,000 unvaccinated health workers in BC are on unpaid leave, Dix says

BC health officials said Monday that 3,325 health workers, or about 2.6 percent of the workforce, have not yet been vaccinated, have been put on unpaid leave.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said from midnight Sunday that 127,448 workers in the province have worked at least one shift in the past six months. Of these, 122,059 are fully vaccinated, while 2,064 have received one dose. The rest are not vaccinated and on leave.

The situation in Interior Health is the worst at the moment, Dix said, with 1,018 health workers on leave.

A number of hospitals have been affected by staff shortages, he added, including Keremeos and Abbotsford. Kelowna General Hospital has had to cancel eye surgery.

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During the news conference, Henry also clarified that anyone who had two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine will receive a notification that they are eligible for their booster shot six months after their second dose. The booster will be an mRNA vaccine, meaning Pfizer or Moderna.

Henry said this is because people with two doses of AstraZeneca have shown declining levels of protection, even though it is still high for protection against serious illness.

Click to play video: 'Unvaccinated nurses open Kamlop's clinic'

Unvaccinated nurses open Kamloop’s clinic

Unvaccinated nurses open Kamloop’s clinic

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Unvaccinated nurses open wellness center in Kamloops, BC

Visitors to all acute institutions throughout the province must now show proof of vaccination in order to visit friends and loved ones.

Henry addressed the issue of wearing masks in indoor public spaces and said that masks should still be worn at indoor faith services as COVID can still be spread in these environments.

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