Re: Respiratory Therapists as Vaccinators for COVID-19
We have received a number of inquiries from you about respiratory therapists supporting BC’s Immunization plan by becoming vaccinators for COVID-19. Respiratory therapists in some provinces and the United States are providing vaccines, at this time the BC Ministry of Health has decided to not include respiratory therapists. The explanation from the Ministry is below:
Dear Mike MacAulay:
Thank you for your correspondence of February 25, March 8, March 16 and April 6, 2021, regarding the BC immunization order. I am responding on behalf of the Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer. I apologize for the delay in communication.
You wrote to advocate that Respiratory Therapists be included as medical assistants in BC’s Immunization Plan. As you know, BC’s immunization program is a large undertaking and to aid with roll out, Dr. Henry announced two new Orders: the Regulated and Unregulated Health Professionals SARS-CoV-2 Immunization Order, and the Emergency Medical Assistants SARS-CoV-2 Immunization Order (see: http://www.gov.bc.ca/PHOguidance). Together, these Orders aim to allow for the optimal use of health human resources by authorizing (with training requirements and practice limitations) specific regulated and unregulated health professionals as well as students of certain health professions to engage in some immunization activities as part of BC’s Immunization Plan.
Presently, Respiratory Therapists have not been granted emergency immunization activity privileges under these new Orders. Please know that this decision is not a comment on the value, skills, or services provided by Respiratory Therapists. At this time we are encouraging individuals who are another type of retired health professional (without Temporary Emergency Registration status), or there is no category for them to register on the EHPR, to refer to their local Health Authority website to look for position postings related to the COVID-19 immunization campaign. Despite this, we are grateful for your offer of assistance.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to write to the government to share your offer of assistance and support for BC’s Immunization Plan. I appreciate the opportunity to respond, and I hope this clarifies our approach to planning.