Canada: ‘Tax’ and restrictions boost demand for 1st dose in Quebec

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A day after the Canadian province of Quebec announced that it would financially penalize unvaccinated residents, the local health minister said on Wednesday that demand for the first dose increased in the hours following the announcement.

“This is encouraging!” Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube tweeted, indicating that the number of appointments for the first dose of the vaccine on Tuesday was the highest in several days.

The fine for those who did not get the vaccine would not apply to those with a medical exemption, and no details were announced, although officials said the amount to be charged would be “significant”.

The Quebec government says that while nearly 90% of eligible residents have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, the unvaccinated remain a burden on the province’s public health system.

In a presentation of data on Covid-19 on Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would not assess whether Quebec’s financial penalty for the unvaccinated was good policy, saying he needed to see more details.

Trudeau stressed that Canada has strict vaccination restrictions for airline and train passengers, federal workers and federally regulated workplaces.

“And for people who continue to hesitate or choose not to get vaccinated, they are losing the privileges to do certain things, whether it’s taking a train or a plane, whether it’s traveling internationally, or having a job in the public service,” Trudeau told a news conference. on Wednesday, acknowledging that there is ongoing debate about how best to encourage the unvaccinated.

Last week, Quebec, where nearly a quarter of all Canadians live, announced that residents would have to be vaccinated to buy alcohol or cannabis. Proof of vaccination is required to eat at restaurants, go to the gym or participate in sporting events.

Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos added that while the new penalty in Quebec does not violate Canadian health laws, vaccination is the way out of the pandemic and restrictions on the unvaccinated have been a useful tool in Canada. .

“We have also demonstrated at the federal level that restrictions work, 99% of public servants, and almost 99% of public servants at the federal level are fully vaccinated or will soon be fully vaccinated,” Duclos said at a press conference in Ottawa on Wednesday. market.

Public health officials say the vast majority of patients in Quebec hospitals are not vaccinated. They did not report how many hospitalized patients with Covid-19 were not vaccinated.

This content was originally created in English.

original version

Reference: CNN Brasil

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