While a COVID-19 vaccination will be voluntary in Ontario, Ontarians will likely be provided with a proof of vaccine card. In a press conference on Tuesday, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott added that it may be required to access certain settings.
“That is going to be really important for travel purposes, perhaps for work purposes and for going to theatres or cinemas or any other areas where people will be in closer physical contact when we get through the worst of the pandemic,” she said.
Minister Elliott says Ontario will be providing some sort of proof of vaccine card for travel, communal spaces (cinemas) etc. Opens up the door to vaccine requirements when life gets back to “normal” #onpoli
— Laura Stone (@l_stone) December 8, 2020
In a press conference last week Thursday, Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, told reporters that they can’t force people to take the vaccine, but immunization proof against COVID-19 could allow freedom to move around, access facilities (e.g., long-term care), and may become required for attendance in schools.
The idea of mobility restrictions has ignited a debate across social media, with some claiming that it only serves to incentivize vaccinations.
While there may not be mandated vaccination, mobility restrictions will serve to incentivize vaccination, and such restrictions will withstand legal challenge in Canada.
— All Hands & The Cook (@AllHandsCook) December 8, 2020
I am all in on the vaccine. But I do disagree with forcing it. If I am 95% protected, I will let people have their skepticism about a novel RNA vaccine with 4 months of history. Have they tested it on T1D, pregnant women, those with chronic conditions? I will also 😷 for years
— Rozay (@aylwardCA) December 8, 2020
On Wednesday, Ontario reported 1,890 cases of COVID-19 and more than 48,500 tests completed. There are 517 new cases in Toronto, 471 in Peel, and 187 in York Region. There are 1,924 more resolved cases and 28 more deaths.
Wednesday’s number increased from 1,676 new infections recorded on Tuesday but decreased from the record-breaking case counts reported over the weekend (1,925 recorded on Monday, 1,924 recorded on Sunday, and 1,859 recorded on Saturday). There are 16,089 active cases in the province — a drop from yesterday’s high.
On Monday, provincial ministers said they were ready to distribute COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are received, beginning with vaccinating vulnerable populations, including long-term care and retirement home residents and the staff who provide care to these groups.
“We are working diligently with General Hillier and the task force to ensure anyone in Ontario who needs a vaccine will get one when we receive them from the federal government. Until then, we are asking people to look out for their elderly loved ones and protect themselves by continuing to follow the public health measures,” Premier Doug Ford said in a press conference on Monday.
Groups receiving the early vaccine doses in the first few months of the Ontario immunization program will include:
- Residents, staff, essential caregivers, and other employees of congregate living settings (e.g., long-term care homes and retirement homes)
- Health care workers (including hospital employees/staff)
- Adults in Indigenous communities, including remote communities
- Adult recipients of chronic home health care
Click here for more COVID-19 Ontario updates.