Surgeries in some British Columbia hospitals are being postponed due to staffing shortages created by more than 3,000 unvaccinated healthcare workers who have been put on unpaid leave.
Health Minister Adrian Dix says there are currently 3,325 healthcare workers across the province who have not been immunized against COVID-19 in violation of the government’s proof-of-vaccination policy for healthcare workers.
Dix says the staffing shortages will result in reductions of operating services in hospitals in the Interior and Fraser health authorities, while added demand for health care has forced surgery postponements in many other parts of the province.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says officials have been speaking with healthcare workers in one-on-one meetings to discuss their vaccination concerns, but some are saying they are adamantly opposed to the vaccines.
She says health workers who do not recognize the importance of vaccines in battling the pandemic may not be in the right profession.
Henry also announced people in B.C. who received two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will soon be notified they are eligible to receive a booster shot within six months of their second vaccine.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2021.