VICTORIA — The deadline for British Columbia health-care workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is today.

The provincial health officer’s order covers doctors, nurses, students, residents, contractors, volunteers and all other health-care professionals.

Premier John Horgan says he’s hopeful that the small number of workers who are resistant to getting vaccinated will get the information they need to get their shots.

Those who don’t have their first dose of vaccine by the deadline can’t work unless they have a recognized exemption.

The order says unvaccinated workers who get their first shot before Nov. 15 can resume working seven days after the first dose, but they must wear personal protective equipment and take other precautions until they get their second shot.

The Health Ministry says 94 per cent of B.C. health workers were fully vaccinated as of Oct. 24, three per cent were unvaccinated and two per cent had one dose.

Overall, B.C. has reached an 89.6 per cent vaccination rate for first shots among eligible residents age 12 and up and 84.4 per cent have received their second dose.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Dr. Penny Ballem, the lead of the B.C. immunization rollout team, will provide an update on COVID-19 on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2020.

The Canadian Press