Quebec Flip-Flopped On Mandatory Vaccination For Health Care Workers

"Beggars can't be choosers" seems to be the government's approach to mandatory vaccinations for health care workers. Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé announced Wednesday that the province will let unvaccinated health sector employees continue to work after November 15 — the date by which workers were supposed to be adequately vaccinated or face suspension.

That was already an extension. The original deadline for health and social service workers to get their COVID-19 vaccine was October 15.

In a press release, the ministry said the decision followed an evaluation that found "the maintenance of essential services" could "not be ensured" in the case of the "withdrawal of unvaccinated workers."

As of November 3, according to the release, 14,000 workers aren't fully vaccinated, according to the release.

Instead, the government is enforcing three-times-weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated workers and will carry out reassignments — "when possible" — of these employees to "areas with less vulnerable clientele."

In addition, the Ministry of Health says "no worker presenting symptoms should come to the care environment."

Unvaccinated health workers will also not be eligible for previously announced pandemic and retention bonuses.