The Sun Peaks Community Health (SPCH) Centre will continue to see unvaccinated patients under new policy, as recommended by the Doctors of BC and the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons.
“Our clinic, like doctors worldwide, are going to continue to see and treat patients, regardless whether they are vaccinated or not,” said primary physician Dr. Shane Barclay in a letter to patients on Sept. 8.
Going forward, the health centre will only see single vaccinated or unvaccinated patients at the end of each day during the last available time slot of 4:15 p.m.
This will ensure the building is clear of other patients, such as children, but “it is primarily meant to protect the unvaccinated,” read the letter.
Thorough cleaning of each examination room after every visit will continue, and full personal protective equipment will be worn by staff during a single vaccinated or unvaccinated patients’ visit.
“[It] is more time consuming and burdensome,” Barclay said.
According to the letter there has been an increase in calls from patients requesting a letter of exemption from getting a COVID-19 vaccine as well as other COVID-19 related questions.
This comes at a time amidst a provincial wide mandate requiring proof of vaccination to enter indoor venues including restaurants and events which will begin Sept. 13.
Only three things qualify patients to be exempt from a COVID-19 vaccine; being younger than 12 years old; having received a vaccine from something else within two weeks; or, having had a severe allergic reaction to one of the existing vaccines “or one of its constituents.”
“If a patient asks for a letter of exemption and does not fulfill one of the above criteria, physicians are being asked to write a medical legal letter which amounts to fraud. Fraud is a crime,” wrote Barclay.
Barclay made it clear the SPCH Centre is not “mandating” vaccines for in-person exams, nor is it a “punishment” but they are simply trying to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 for staff and other patients.
Barclay also presented his thoughts on those who are concerned if the vaccines are safe, citing statistics in the hope it will put patients’ minds at ease, stating COVID-19 vaccines are 94 per cent effective in preventing severe COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and death.
Barclay concluded by reminding patients the vaccine is safe but if people continue to choose to not be vaccinated more deadly variants of the virus could continue to pop up.
You can read the full letter by clicking here.