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COVID-19 Vaccines Will Be Mandatory In Canada 'One Day,' The Health Minister Predicts

Quebec has already signalled it's open to the measure.

Staff Writer
COVID-19 Vaccines Will Be Mandatory In Canada 'One Day,' The Health Minister Predicts
Bobhilscher | Dreamstime

Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says he believes COVID-19 vaccines will be mandatory in Canada "one day," but thinks the decision will be up to the provinces.

"With what we currently see happening [...] we know that COVID-19 is going to be with us for at least several more months, perhaps several years," the minister said at a Friday press conference.

"And given the fragility of our health care system in the country, the aging of the population, the rising costs of taking care of everyone, I think that this kind of measure, which is not currently under consideration [...] will be part of the discussions, reflections and even actions of the provinces and territories in the long term."

Quebec has already signalled it's open to such a move. In late December 2021, provincial Health Minister Chrisitan Dubé said officials wouldn't rule it out.

"If we have to go there, we'll go there. Right now, we're not there yet," he said on December 23.

Quebec Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda echoed Dubé's statement on December 28.

"Everything is on the table," he said, referring to mandatory vaccination. "This is not our first measure, of course. But I'm not closing the door on anything."

The Quebec government has made clear that it first intends to limit opportunities for the unvaccinated to access non-essential businesses and activities.

Dubé announced on January 6 that the provincial liquor and cannabis stores, the SAQ and SQDC, would require the vaccine passport as of January 18. Appointments for a first vaccine dose spiked after the announcement.

The minister said more businesses will require the passport in the coming months.

As of January 6, 82% of Quebecers had received a second vaccine dose.

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