Quebec delays COVID-19 vaccine mandate deadline for health workers

Quebec has pushed back the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for workers in the health-care network to Nov. 15.

Health Minister Christian Dubé announced the 30-day delay Wednesday as the initial deadline for mandatory vaccination loomed, with thousands of employees facing suspension without pay.

Citing the pressure on the health network amid the weight of the pandemic, Dubé said it would be irresponsible to remove more workers right now.

Read more: Quebec registers 512 new cases, 7 more deaths linked to COVID-19

“It is essential to us to protect our network and our patients,” he said, describing it is a “difficult decision” to push back the date.

Dubé told reporters that starting next Monday, all unvaccinated health-care workers in the public sector will be tested for at least three times a week.

The government had previously stood firm on the Oct. 15 deadline for health workers in both the private and public sector to be fully immunized against COVID-19. As recently as Tuesday, the health minister said he wasn’t going to budge on the date.

with files from The Canadian Press

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