Quebec sees thousands sign up for first shot of COVID-19 vaccine as tax threat looms

‘It’s encouraging!’ tweeted Dubé

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After plans to tax the unvaxxed were revealed on Tuesday by Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé, more than 7,000 people registered to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose since the announcement 24 hours ago.

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“About 5K appointments were taken on January 10 and 7K yesterday, our record for several days,” Dubé tweeted this morning.

“107K doses administered yesterday,” he adds. “It’s encouraging!”

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Dubé’s controversial announcement was echoed by Quebec Premier François Legault on the same day, stating “significant” penalties for those refusing vaccination for non-medical reasons.

Legault argues that Quebecers shouldn’t have suffer the consequences of a burdened health care network due to those choosing not to be vaccinated.

“It’s a question of equity because right now, these people are putting a very important burden on our health care network and I think it’s normal that the majority of the population is asking that there be a consequence,” he said.

The Premier shared a tweet depicting a graph by the Canadian Institute for Health Information explaining the cost of a COVID-19 patient in an intensive care unit.

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In a press conference earlier today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would need additional information regarding the province’s plan to tax adult residents refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before making a decision on whether he supports the idea.

Quebec reassured the federal government, according to Trudeau, saying the taxation plan will not violate the principles of the Canada Health Act — a statute which regulates the country’s provincially run universal health-care systems.

The province reported 52 COVID-related deaths and an increase of 135 hospitalizations today, raising the total to 2,877 people in the hospital with the infection.

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