Health Minister Adrian Dix said Tuesday he collected data from 542 of British Columbia’s 546 nursing homes.
In all long-term care and assisted living facilities, there are 48,879 employees, of whom 46,924 have received at least their first dose.
There are now 1,955 employees who have not started their vaccination process, ie around 5% of the workforce.
“We have reviewed care home plans by care home to make sure we are ready for, especially this first week of transition as these are the first shifts where the provincial health order will be in effect and people who are not yet vaccinated be fully excluded, ”Dix said.
He said that a “significant number” of unvaccinated nursing home staff are casual workers and that they are “satisfied” with the vaccination rates where they are currently in the sector – 96% in long-term care. duration and 97% in assisted living residences.
Either way, said Dix, “there is no doubt that this is a challenge for us.”
He said there are about four nursing homes in British Columbia that have staff immunization rates below the 85% mark and have already received support from the province. Other nursing homes in northern British Columbia, which are facing an increasing number of cases, have also been supported.
Dix said the province and health authorities would coordinate the movement of nursing home staff to support facilities facing staff shortages as a result of the mandate. He compared the response to how staff were relocated during Wave 2 to support nursing homes inundated with epidemics.
He said the province is now preparing for the broader mandate of vaccines for all healthcare workers, which will have a more than three times greater impact on staff.
“This work is underway right now and it will be in terms of the volume of change, an even bigger challenge. “
The BC Care Providers Association has spoken in favor of the policy.
Visitors to nursing homes for the elderly now also need at least one dose and must be fully immunized by November 30.
Provincial health worker Dr. Bonnie Henry said the warrant is necessary to protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19