Quebec Vaccination Spikes After ‘Unvaxxed Tax’ Announcement

Thousands have signed up for their first shot to avoid fines.

Thousands have signed up for their first shot to avoid fines.

On Tuesday, the local government of the Canadian province of Quebec announced that citizens who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (those with medical exemptions notwithstanding) would be faced with a sizeable fine. Mere hours after the announcement of this so-called “unvaxxed tax,” appointments for first shots in Quebec spiked by the thousands.

According to Quebec’s government, roughly 90% of the territory’s populace was vaccinated prior to the announcement of the fine, but after the announcement, vaccination rates reached the highest seen in many days. The fine announcement also follows new rules set last week stating that citizens must be vaccinated not only to visit certain businesses like gyms and restaurants, but to purchase certain products like alcohol or cannabis.

When asked about the fine’s potential, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau abstained from stating his opinion, as he wanted to see more hard data first. Trudeau did note, however, that he is in favor of incentives to ensure more vaccinations.

“And for people who continue to hesitate or to choose not to get vaccinated, they are losing privileges to do certain things, whether it’s get on a train or a plane, whether it’s travel internationally, whether it’s move forward with a job in the public service,” said Trudeau at a news conference.

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