B.C.’s long road to overcome vaccine hesitancy with healthcare workers
2021-01-10 from theglobeandmail.com
Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer, has spent more than a decade trying to persuade those working in care homes and other front-line health workers to get the flu vaccine – a campaign that now must pivot to the effort to protect vulnerable seniors from the deadly COVID-19 virus.
British Columbia brought in a policy twenty years ago that allowed health care workers to be sent home without pay during an influenza outbreak if they refused to be vaccinated or to take anti-viral treatment. At the time, the majority of staff in long-term care facilities refused to get the flu shot, even though influenza is a serious risk to the residents they care for.
Dr. Henry, long before taking up her current post, was called as an expert witness to help defend the province’s position. She argued that health care workers have an ethical and professional responsibility to protect vulnerable patients from transmissible diseases.
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