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Mandatory vaccinations will likely be coming to Canada

Quebec’s Health Minister, Jean-Yves Duclos said he believes mandatory vaccinations will happen in Canada.

Experts warn that vaccinations need to speed up - but tightened restrictions may also be needed - © AFP/File Biju BORO
Experts warn that vaccinations need to speed up - but tightened restrictions may also be needed - © AFP/File Biju BORO

Quebec’s Health Minister, Jean-Yves Duclos said he believes mandatory vaccinations will happen in Canada. Duclos said it was a matter for the provinces but he personally believed that compulsory vaccination would happen.

“What we see now is that our health care system in Canada is fragile, our people are tired, and the only way that we know to get through COVID-19, this variant and any future variant, is through vaccination,” Duclos said at a press conference on Friday, reports CBC Canada.

Duclos pointed out that while rapid tests, masking, and social distancing are useful tools, they alone won’t end the pandemic.

“Fifty percent of hospitalizations now, in Quebec, are due to people not having been vaccinated,” he said. “That’s a burden on health care workers, a burden on society which is very difficult to bear and for many people difficult to understand.

“That’s why I’m signaling this is a conversation which I believe provinces and territories, in support with the federal government, will want to have over the next weeks and months.”

The health minister admits that discussions on mandates for vaccinations are not taking place at the present time, but based on his “personal understanding of what we see internationally and domestically and in my conversations [with] health ministers over the last few weeks,” the discussion will start in the coming weeks or months.

What Duclos is talking about is not new. As of February 1, vaccination will be mandatory in Austria. In Greece, people over the age of 60 will be fined 100 euros ($144) a month if they don’t get a shot by Jan. 15.

In Italy, vaccines are compulsory for people over 50. German MPs are expected to soon vote on making vaccination mandatory.

And this turn of events is not limited to the aforementioned countries. Many other nations are contemplating similar mandates or have adopted mandates in certain workplace settings, such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Indonesia, Italy, and the UK, according to The Lancet.

Needless to say, many people opposed to everyone being vaccinated present different arguments to explain their stand, including being opposed to vaccinations “on principle.”

Others resist vaccine mandates on pragmatic grounds, for example, that such mandates could decrease health-care staffing levels or morale, while some use religion in their objections. Many others insist mandatory vaccination violates human rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments today on two vaccine mandates issued by the federal government that would protect workers in large businesses and the healthcare industry.

However, keep in mind that mandatory vaccination is not a knee-jerk response to COVID-19. In more than 100 countries there already exist some version of mandatory vaccination of school children for a range of diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, and polio.

Although mandatory vaccination requirements must be designed with great care, there is no reason to think they are inherently incompatible with human rights law.

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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