COVID-19 vaccine won't be mandatory in Ontario, but like others, required for access

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Ontario's chief medical officer of health says the COVID-19 vaccine will be treated the same as other immunizations: not mandatory, but required for certain access. 

Dr. David Williams said the government can't force anyone to take it. 

"What we can do is to say sometimes for access or ease in getting into certain settings, if you don't have vaccinations, then you're not allowed into that setting without other protection materials," he said. 

Some examples would be include school attendance, hospitals and long-term care, Williams said. 

"Not that someone is going to be forced to take it against their will, we don't see there's a need for that, because we think anytime our vaccine products have been proven, historically to be the best thing we have," he said. 

The debate of mandatory vaccination has been analyzed during the pandemic, such as by Leger and the Association in for Canadian Studies. 

In October, their poll found 39 per cent of respondents said getting a vaccine should be mandatory, which was a decline of 18 per cent from a similar poll in July and over 20 per cent in May. 

Meanwhile, Williams said expect news Friday on more regions moving up in the province's coloured zones framework, while not giving specifics ahead of giving recommendations to the health minister and cabinet. 

Currently, only Peel and Toronto are in the grey lockdown zone. 

With files from the Canadian Press