Quebec, the first province in Canada scheduled to enforce a Covid-19 vaccine mandate from Friday, has postponed its enforcement by a month due to concerns that it may trigger a healthcare crisis caused by depleted staffing.
The prospect of depleted staffing amid a fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic eventually compelled Quebec to postpone the mandate deadline to November 15.
The “risk” to the healthcare system in Quebec is considered to be “too high” if the mid-October vaccine mandate sparks a crisis, fears provincial health minister Christian Dubé.
While over 90% of healthcare workers in Quebec are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, around 22,000 who have taken only one dose or none are liable for suspension under new vaccine mandates.
Unions representing healthcare workers have been opposing the measure, as has been the case at the federal level, where the deadline for enforcement is on October 30, reports Hindustan Times.
The federal vaccine mandates, championed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, are piecemeal and do not cover all employees such as the Canadian Armed Forces, which is exempted from compulsory jabs against Covid-19. However, a face-off is still looming as the date of enforcement nears.