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Canada: Quebec sees thousands sign up for first shot of COVID-19 vaccine as tax threat looms

A look at the latest COVID-19 developments in Canada

  A look at the latest COVID-19 developments in Canada A look at the latest COVID-19 news in Canada: — Canada's health minister says he expects the country to reach a time in the COVID-19 pandemic when provinces consider implementing a broader vaccine mandate to counter rising cases. Jean-Yves Duclos told a COVID-19 briefing on Friday that such a measure was not currently being contemplated in Canada, but his personal opinion was that the country would get there at some point. Given how fragile the health-care system is in Canada and its aging population, Duclos said he thinks that type of measure will be considered by provinces over the next weeks and months.

After plans to tax the unvaxxed were revealed on Tuesday by Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé, more than 7,000 people registered to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose since the announcement 24 hours ago.

  Quebec sees thousands sign up for first shot of COVID-19 vaccine as tax threat looms © Provided by National Post

“About 5K appointments were taken on January 10 and 7K yesterday, our record for several days,” Dubé tweeted this morning.

“107K doses administered yesterday,” he adds. “It’s encouraging!”

Dubé’s controversial announcement was echoed by Quebec Premier François Legault on the same day, stating “significant” penalties for those refusing vaccination for non-medical reasons.


Video: Quebec to impose tax on adults unvaccinated for COVID-19 (Global News)

Legault argues that Quebecers shouldn’t have suffer the consequences of a burdened health care network due to those choosing not to be vaccinated.

“It’s a question of equity because right now, these people are putting a very important burden on our health care network and I think it’s normal that the majority of the population is asking that there be a consequence,” he said.

A look at the latest COVID-19 developments in Canada

  A look at the latest COVID-19 developments in Canada A look at the latest COVID-19 news in Canada: — Adult Quebecers who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will be forced to pay a "significant" financial penalty, Premier François Legault said Tuesday, one day after the sudden resignation of the province's public health director. The penalty would be the first of its kind in Canada and would apply to unvaccinated residents who don't have a medical exemption, Legault told reporters in Montreal. The "health contribution" is necessary, he said, because about 10 per cent of adult Quebecers aren't vaccinated, but they represent about half of all patients in intensive care.

The Premier shared a tweet depicting a graph by the Canadian Institute for Health Information explaining the cost of a COVID-19 patient in an intensive care unit.

“A COVID patient costs an average of $50K in intensive care,” the tweet said. “$43K more than a patient with heart problems.”

In a press conference earlier today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would need additional information regarding the province’s plan to tax adult residents refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before making a decision on whether he supports the idea.

Quebec reassured the federal government, according to Trudeau, saying the taxation plan will not violate the principles of the Canada Health Act — a statute which regulates the country’s provincially run universal health-care systems.

The province reported 52 COVID-related deaths and an increase of 135 hospitalizations today, raising the total to 2,877 people in the hospital with the infection.

Trudeau says antiviral treatment won't make up for low vaccination rate among children .
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today welcomed Health Canada's approval of an antiviral treatment that could keep high-risk COVID-19 patients out of hospital — while also warning that the Pfizer therapeutic is no substitute for vaccination. Speaking to reporters on Parliament Hill, Trudeau said Pfizer's Paxlovid — which will be available to a limited number of adults starting this week and next — is a "useful tool in the toolkit" but it won't make up for the sagging vaccination rate among children.

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