March 07, 2022

Frequently asked questions re: new Order of the Provincial Health Officer

On March 7, 2022, the Provincial Health Officer issued an Order under the Public Health Act that applies to all colleges and health professionals regulated under the Health Professions Act. The new Order, Health Professionals Covid-19 Vaccination Status Information and Preventive Measures, is in addition to the Hospital and Community (Health Care and other Services) Covid-19 Vaccine Information and Preventative Measures Order that was issued in October 2021.

Under this new Order, the College must verify the vaccine status of every registrant by March 31, 2022. This information may be reported to the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) at an individual and aggregate level.

The Order does not apply to any unregulated staff who may work in your office.

Frequently asked questions

Does the Order require registrants to be vaccinated against COVID-19? 
No. This Order requires the College to record the COVID-19 vaccination status of all registrants, but it does not impose a COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Please note that separate public health orders remain in place requiring COVID-19 vaccination for health professionals working in residential care, acute care and community care settings. 

Which health professionals are covered by this Order?
The Order applies to all regulated health professionals in British Columbia.

Do registrants need to take action to have their vaccination status recorded by the College?
Registrants do not need to provide any information to the College or the provincial government about their vaccination status at this time. Registrants who have not been identified as vaccinated in the Provincial Immunization Registry will be contacted shortly and asked to provide more information.

What will the College accept as a valid exemption to vaccination?
A valid exemption must be one issued by the Office of the PHO.

Under what authority can the PHO issue public health orders? 
The PHO has the legal authority to issue emergency preventive measures orders under the Public Health Act. Under the Act, all individuals and organizations are required to comply with the requirements set by the PHO.

What is the PHO’s jurisdiction to order that registrants prove they are vaccinated or prove they have been exempted?
The Provincial Health Officer has emergency powers under the Public Health Act which give her the jurisdiction to make this order.