New Public Health Order Requires COBC to Record Vaccination Status of Registrants
A new Order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) has been issued “to prevent or reduce the risk of the transmission of infection with SARS-CoV-2 by health professionals.”
The Health Professionals COVID-19 Vaccination Status Information and Preventive Measures Order requires the College of Opticians of British Columbia (COBC) to record the COVID-19 vaccination status of all its registrants by March 31, 2022. On request by COBC, registrants must provide proof of vaccination, or proof of an exemption if they have it.
The Order 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.
Next Steps for Registrants
COBC has provided registrant information to the Ministry of Health (MOH) for matching against the Provincial Immunization Registry. The MOH is in the process of sharing this data matching with the College. We anticipate that most vaccinated registrants will be easily verified in the Provincial Immunization Registry.
If your vaccination status is not confirmed via the data exchange process, we will contact you by mail or email with details of the information required and how to submit it. We ask all registrants to check their mail and email frequently this month to determine whether further action is required. If you are not contacted by COBC, this simply means there is nothing else you need to do.
For Members of the Public
If you are a member of the public with questions about the public health order, please contact PHO/MOH Patient Client Relations:
- Tel: 250-952-1891
- Toll-free within BC: 1 833 552-1891
- Email: HLTH.Health@gov.bc.ca
- Website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/health/ministry-contacts
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Order require registrants to be vaccinated against COVID-19?
No. This Order requires COBC to record the COVID-19 vaccination status of all registrants, but it does not impose a COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
Which health professionals are covered by this Order?
The Order applies to all BC regulated health professionals across all registration categories, including opticians.
Does the Order apply to College registrants who provide only telehealth/virtual?
Yes. COBC is required to record the COVID-19 vaccination status of all registrants.
As a registrant, will I need to take action to have my vaccination status recorded by COBC?
Unless we contact you for further information, you will NOT need to provide any information to your college or the provincial government about your vaccination status. We will provide more information as it becomes available.
What will the College accept as a valid exemption to vaccination?
A valid exemption must be one issued by the Office of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO).
Under what authority can the Provincial Health Officer (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.
Previous Communications, Orders, and Recommendations
- Provincial Health Officer’s Message to Health Professionals
- BCHR Guidance for Providing In-Person Community Care
- Return to Work – Additional Guidance for Opticians
- BC Restart Plan