Naturopaths, chiropractors least vaccinated of all B.C. health professionals, province says

Naturopathic physicians have the lowest rate of COVID-19 vaccination of all regulated health practitioners in British Columbia at just 69.2 percent, followed by chiropractors at 78.1 per cent and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists at 79 per cent, while dieticians, physicians and surgeons have the highest rates at 98 per cent.

Overall, the rate of vaccination among members of reporting B.C. health-care colleges is 94 per cent, according to figures released by the province on Tuesday.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said data from the college of nurses and midwives wasn’t included in the report because it was taking longer to pull together due to the size of the cohort.

Nurses make up the biggest segment of workers in the public health-care system and are known to have high vaccination rates, said Henry. 

In October 2021, Henry ordered B.C. health-care colleges to report on the vaccination status of members so people using the public health-care system could make informed choices. 

Although there is no public reporting system currently in place showing if an individual health-care provider has been vaccinated, Henry indicated one might be coming. 

“The overriding interest is in patient safety,” she said. “What we are working through is how to make it so it’s not a disclosure of personal information, a way that protects the practitioner.”

From lowest to highest, here are the vaccination rates in B.C. professional health-care sectors: 

  • Naturopathic physicians: 69.2%.
  • Chiropractors: 78.1%.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists: 79.0%.
  • Massage therapists: 87.9%.
  • Dental technicians: 90.7%.
  • Audiologists/hearing instrument practitioners: 91.9%.
  • Dental hygienists: 92.6%.
  • Dental assistants: 92.8%.
  • Denturists: 92.9 %.
  • Speech-language pathologists: 92.9%.
  • Opticians: 94.9%.
  • Physical therapists: 95.2%.
  • Dentists: 95.9%.
  • Optometrists: 96.0%.
  • Psychologists: 96.1%
  • Pharmacists: 96.7%
  • Pharmacy technicians: 96.8%
  • Occupational therapists: 96.9%
  • Dieticians: 98%
  • Physicians and surgeons: 98.0%

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