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Health care workers in B.C. will be required to get a flu shot or wear a mask during the coming flu season to protect patients from the virus.
That announcement from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall today.
Kendall says the new policy will apply to health authority staff, doctors and residents, volunteers, students, and even contractors and vendors who come into contact with patients.
"I'm proud that B.C. is leading the country with this important patient safety initiative. Many organizations and jurisdictions in the United States have already implemented similar policies. As a result, they have reached health care worker immunization rates that exceed 95 per-cent."
By contrast, the vaccination rate for health workers in B.C. is below 50 percent.
Flu season runs from late Nvember through March, and vaccinations are generally available around Thanksgiving.