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When Health Canada gives OK, BC is ready to vaccinate thousands of children: Top Doctor

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Vancouver — British Columbia’s top doctor orders children over the age of 5 to wear masks in public spaces, and the state prepares to vaccinate young children awaiting Canadian Health Department approval. As a result, we have expanded our obligations for children over the age of 12.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday that about 340,000 children under the age of 11 would be eligible for vaccination as early as next month when the policy is announced.

Henry said people in the northern region with the highest COVID-19 infection rates would be prioritized due to low vaccine intake.

She said the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the north is causing serious illness, including young residents, as hospitals are “pushed to the limit”.

“There are some communities where vaccination rates are very high and no such infections are seen, especially in the northwestern Haida Gwaii, for example the Prince-Through Part, but there are also communities where things go wrong,” Henry said.

“We also know that influenza can spread very easily to young children, especially infants. However, influenza can cause serious illness in school-aged children and can spread very rapidly. , These are the things we have to do. Start thinking now for the fall. “

Henry said public health authorities are working with northern health authorities to determine if more regional measures are needed to prevent the infection, including booster immunity as a way to control the outbreak.

She said that personal gatherings such as ceremonies, funerals, and celebrations are potential sources of communication as people move from one community to another.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said 55 critically ill patients had been transferred from parts of the north to other intensive care units in the state, 43 of whom were infected with COVID-19. He added that only one of them was fully vaccinated.

In British Columbia, 2,090 COVID-19s have been recorded in the last four days, killing 28 people and killing a total of 2,029 people.

On Tuesday, a public health order requiring long-term care facilities and staff of long-term care facilities to be vaccinated at least once as a condition of employment came into effect, and a similar order came into effect later this month for acute care workers. And community care settings.

Nearly 49,000 people are employed at 546 long-term and livelihood support facilities in British Columbia, 93% of whom are fully vaccinated, Dix said. To get vaccinated.

After Henry announced his mandate, vaccine intake went from 90% to 96% of the first dose, but the state still had to provide additional support at some facilities, such as the north. He said.

“Of course, we are also preparing for the very big challenge of three times the number of workers. They still have a broader mission for all health care workers,” he said. ..

“If a caregiver or certified worker refuses vaccination, they violate the state health officer’s Home Care Precautionary Order, Public Health Act and employer policy. They are in gradual disciplinary action. Applicable. Until the end and including the end. “

Terry Lake, CEO of the BC Care Providers Association, said that some facilities were called in when they wanted a vacation, while others worked to fill overtime or for those who weren’t vaccinated at other homes. Said.

“The implementation of all these mitigation strategies has avoided the worst-case scenarios, most of which are more for people to continue working with the first dose and get a second dose. Is to give them time, “he said.

Most of the northern care facilities are run by local health authorities, but according to Lake, the association faces more challenges for inland workers who choose not to be vaccinated. That is.

“For example, Kamloops has a site where at least five staff members are taking unpaid leave today, and Kelowna has a site where seven staff members are taking unpaid leave.”

Workers can return to work seven days after the first dose if precautions are taken, and Mr Lake said many want to decide to take that route.

“What we know is that some people have retired early rather than complying with vaccine obligations,” he said.

Lake said it was up to the state and federal governments to devise strategies to address the significant staff shortages that existed in long-term care facilities before the pandemic.

This report by Canadian Press was first published on October 12, 2021.

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