A formal letter sent by the Quebec government to the president of the Conseil des médecins du Québec has warned that some health care workers have planned to get a doctor's note in order to be exempt from the mandatory vaccination in their field.
If health care workers do try to get a medical exemption from vaccination, they must follow the province's specific documentation guidelines.
"Several institutions have brought to our attention that some employees were planning to ask their attending physician for a medical certificate contradicting the vaccination or prescribing a work stoppage [...] in order to avoid the measures provided for in the upcoming decree, including reassignment or withdrawal from work without pay," the letter from the Ministry of Health reads.
The ministry made clear that "any supporting document indicating a contraindication to vaccination other than those provided for in the Protocole d'immunisation du Québec (PIQ), a work stoppage for 'medical reasons' or a ticket without a diagnosis will be refused outright."
"Occupational health and safety departments and their designated physicians will be very vigilant when submitting medical documentation related to vaccination."
On Wednesday Health Minister Christian Dubé shared a breakdown by Quebec region of the number of health and social service workers who aren't fully vaccinated.
While the province had initially set an October 15 deadline for these workers to get their two COVID-19 vaccine doses or face suspension, the health ministry ended up postponing it by 30 days on October 13, citing the need to ensure continuity of service.
Ce tableau représente la fragilité de notre réseau de la santé. Déjà, avant la vaccination obligatoire, nous sommes… https://t.co/g7kXH6eiNG
The breakdown of not-fully-vaccinated workers by region shows the scale of the problem.
As of October 11, Montreal unsurprisingly led the pack with 8,759 health and social service workers who had received either no doses or just one dose of a vaccine. Montérégie followed the metropolis, with 2,183 workers who weren't fully vaccinated as of the same date.
In total, 22,446 such workers in the province were not fully vaccinated
"This chart represents the fragility of our health care system," Dubé wrote on Twitter.
"Already, before the mandatory vaccination, we are experiencing a labour shortage. On October 15, with 22,446 fewer people, this would have had enormous consequences on the health services offered to Quebecers."
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on the vaccine and can answer any questions you may have. Click here for more information.
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé has announced that the province has postponed its mandatory vaccination deadline for health and social service workers for one month only. The deadline was previously October 15.
"Under the circumstances, postponing the 30-day deadline is the best solution to ensure the continuity of services and not to add more pressure on our network, and more particularly on its staff," Dubé said in a statement.
Health workers will now have until November 15 to get fully vaccinated or risk suspension from their jobs without pay.
The decision was made "following the analysis of the current epidemiological situation," according to the government.
Health workers in the private and public sectors who are unvaccinated will be required to undergo three COVID-19 tests per week if they want to continue working. They will also forgo any pandemic-related bonuses until they get adequately vaccinated.*
"For the workers who still have not done it: I hope you will take advantage of this reprieve to get yourself vaccinated. Do it for yourself and your loved ones, but also for your colleagues who need you," Dubé added.
Quebec's Ministry of Health has announced that it's almost time to get your flu shot and outlined some guidelines on how to get one. Luckily, it's really easy to get your flu shot in Quebec!
While getting your flu shot isn't mandatory, the health ministry recommends that the following individuals get one:
"people aged 75 and over;
"children 6 months and older as well as adults (including pregnant women, regardless of the stage of their pregnancy) living with: diabetes; a weakened immune system; heart disease; lung disease; kidney disease;"
and "pregnant women in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of their pregnancy."
Vaccination contre la grippe saisonnière - L’opération de vaccination débutera sous peu ➡️Pour consulter le communi… https://t.co/C9qud5sTT0
The flu vaccine is free for these priority groups.
The Health Ministry says the flu vaccine is also free for "family members who live in the same household as a child under 6 months of age or a person at high risk of hospitalization or death, as well as their caregivers, and for health care workers, especially those who provide direct patient care."
Quebec will commence its flu shot campaign on November 1 but Quebecers can book an appointment for their flu shot on the Clic Santé portal now.
This article’s right-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.