Mandatory vaccinations in Quebec health-care sector coming, vaccine passport exemptions given to two groups

Quebec's Health Minister Christian Dube said Tuesday that mandatory vaccinations are coming for health-care workers, and the Health Ministry (MSSS) will grant vaccine passport rule exemptions for certain people in the province who have not been double-vaccinated with the approved COVID-19 vaccines.

"We'll watch how it goes, and we will adjust as we go," Dube said in a news conference on Tuesday.

He said details will be revealed later in the week.

Director of public health Horacio Arruda said his office is taking in information from all relevant stakeholders in the industry before launching the plan.

"The devil is in the details in the precision that we have to bring to everything," said Arruda.

VACCINATION PASSPORT EXEMPTIONS

The ministry said that those who participated in the local Medicago vaccine trial and those "with contraindications to vaccination against COVID-19" will not be penalized when the VaxiCode passport system goes into effect tomorrow.

"People with contraindications to vaccination against COVID 19, including those who meet the conditions described in the Quebec Immunization Protocol, will be able to obtain a vaccine passport," the ministry said in a news release.

Those with contraindications must receive a note from a doctor and present it at a vaccination centre to fall into this category. They can then register at the Clic Sante site under the new option.

Those around 300 people who signed up for the Medicago study will also be able to obtain a QR code that can be used as a passport.

In addition, Quebec's ministry said it is working with other provinces and the federal government to automate devices so they can read QR codes from out of province.

"In the meantime, it should be noted that people from other provinces or countries will be able to present official proof of vaccination issued by the province or country of residence, as well as proof of identity with an address outside Quebec, to gain access to the places and activities covered by the rollout of the vaccine passport," the release reads.

VACCINE PASSPORT INSPECTORS

The Health Minister said he hopes there will not be a need for vaccine passport inspectors, but that businesses and citizens will be fined if they do not respect health measures.

"The vaccination passport is one of those rules," said Dube.

He said police will be responsible for handing out fines much like with mask and distancing mandates.

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