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BC’s Health Minister says the province is not trying to bully people into getting the vaccine

Adrian Dix insists that’s not the case.

Here, he explains why they are limiting access for the non vaccinated to some places where people gather.

“With the Delta variant the virus is very transmissive, and if you’re not vaccinated you’re at significant risk and you need to tell people that I think, so that they understand not just the risk to themselves but to their families and to their communities, and that’s the nature of our actions.”

We asked Dix if it should be a choice whether or not to get the vaccine.

“It is a choice in the sense that there is no one forced to get the vaccine, so it’s absolutely a choice.  But it’s not a choice without consequences for yourself and for the community, so there may be something that if you’re not vaccinated you’re not going to be able to do, and that’s why we presented the BC Vaccine Card while we’re proceeding with that idea.”

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Dix says the list of things that the non vaccinated won’t be able to do are all non essential however, and he says they’re doing it because they don’t want to restrict everyone.

“What we’re saying is rather than take a step like we took in March to say restaurants can only do takeout for everybody, we’re saying that with levels of transmission being what they are, it’s only available to those that are vaccinated.”

He calls it a public health response to a very difficult situation.

Dix says the vaccine card will be in place through January of 2022 and then it will be reviewed, so he says it only a temporary measure.

He says it’s not just the person that won’t get vaccinated that is effected.

“When COVID-19 spreads in a community it effects everybody in that community, so it’s not a matter of just an individual cost, although that exists, or family cost.  We know that some people are more at risk to the most severe outcomes, and they’re more at risk when the more COVID-19 circulates in the community”

Dix says the vaccine also isn’t 100 percent effective, as some of the new cases are people who have been  vaccinated, and it transmits more the more unvaccinated people there are.

He says 83.7 percent of people over the age of 12 have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, which he says is better than most places around the world, but he says that is an average.

Dix says while some places in BC are at 90 percent, others are still down at 60 percent and he says those numbers have to improve.

He says while those who are not vaccinated represent a small percentage of the overall population, they represents a large percentage of those getting sick.

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