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Interior Health has highest rate of unvaccinated staff in BC as mandate deadline approaches

Interior Health has the highest rate of unvaccinated healthcare workers in the province, the minister of health said on Tuesday.

Adrian Dix explained that seven per cent of Interior healthcare staff – excluding long-term care and assisted living workers – have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

That compares with a rate of two per cent for Fraser Health, three per cent for Vancouver Coastal Health, five per cent for Island Health and six per cent for Northern Health.

Dix said 93 per cent of all BC healthcare workers (excluding long-term care and assisted living staff) are fully vaccinated – 121,048 out of 129,924.

Another 3,364 – or 2.6 per cent – are partially vaccinated.

But 5,512, or about 4.2 per cent, remain unvaccinated.

<who> Photo credit: Ministry of Health/flickr

Dix said he is “hopeful” that “people will move to get vaccinated” to comply with the Oct. 26 order that all healthcare staff in the province be at least partially immunized in order to continue working.

Last week, the province said 96 per cent of long-term care and 97 per cent of assisted living workers were at least partially vaccinated.

On Oct. 12, a vaccine mandate came into effect in those sectors, with 1,955 staff members not vaccinated at the time.

Those workers were placed on unpaid leave pending their vaccination.

Dix said: “I think the effort by everybody in the healthcare system is all-in right now, all-in for regions that are struggling more with COVID-19 transmission right now, all in for everybody and I ask everybody to do everything they can – especially when you’re asked to get vaccinated.”

The minister also discussed the latest data on bed occupancy in the province.

He said the base bed occupancy rate was 95.1 per cent, with just 449 of 9,229 base beds vacant.

For surge beds, 1,856 are vacant out of a total 2,353.

In total, there are 9,277 beds occupied out of 11,582 – meaning an occupancy rate of about 80 per cent.

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