(Reuters) – Canada’s Quebec province is working on a plan to require a “health contribution” from residents who refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccinate for non-medical reasons, Premier Francois Legault said on Tuesday.
Hospitals in Quebec are stretched after the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant brought in more COVID-19 patients and took healthcare workers off their jobs.
“The vaccine is the key to fight the virus. This is why we’re looking for a health contribution for adults who refuse to be vaccinated for non-medical reasons,” Legault told reporters at a briefing.
“We need to focus our efforts on two things : getting the first, second and third doses of a vaccine and reducing our contacts especially with older people.”
Legault said even though the province has about 10% unvaccinated people, they account for about 50% of those in intensive care units.
People who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons would be exempt under the proposal, Legault said.
(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese and Grant McCool)