Canada has one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the world. In the end it stopped, but the government is now taking far-reaching measures against the naysayers.
The basics in brief
- Christian Dube says the first 80 percent of vaccinations were still relatively easy.
“The really hard part is getting the last 20 per cent.”
Dube is the health minister of Quebec, one of Canada’s leading provinces in the fight against Covid-19. He explains that after the vaccination campaign that has worked so far, Canada now has to get creative to get the epidemic out of it. Indeed, a few days after the interview, the government in Ottawa is taking measures that hitherto seemed impossible in Germany.
Specifically, this means that anyone wishing to travel to Canada in the future will usually have trouble very soon without a vaccination. “You should be fully vaccinated by the end of November if you are twelve or older and wish to travel or take a train,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has asked for guidance against vaccinators who are among the world’s most stringent. “This is not the time for half-measures.”
In fact, Canada ranks first in the world in terms of its share of vaccination – behind relatively small countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Malta, Singapore and Qatar. In the world’s second largest country – with an area 28 times the size of Germany – nearly three out of four people are now fully protected. For people over the age of twelve, the rate is as high as 85 percent. Much more than in the Federal Republic.
And Ottawa is going even further to raise quotas: In the future, public service employees, including police officers and employees in the transportation sector, must receive a vaccine. Otherwise, civil servants will be released at least from mid-November and their salaries will not be paid thereafter. Proof of vaccination in bars and restaurants is already mandatory in most areas of the country.
The liberal Canadian government is taking action in the face of the delta variable that continues to spread, as other countries continue to struggle. This is also due to the fact that Trudeau – whose minority government was recently confirmed with a modest result in a new election – can count on the broad support of the population when it comes to vaccinations. A poll in August showed that the vast majority of Canadians fully or partially supported mandatory vaccination.
While there are mixed attempts in the neighboring USA to increase their meager quota, Canadians are queuing at the Montreal Convention Center – until Monday morning. Most visitors here are between 20 and 30 years old and get their second dose today.
“A lot of students from abroad also come here. We give vaccinations to everyone, not just Canadians,” the local director says. In September, 500 people were vaccinated here every day. Not as much as before, but the rush is still much bigger than It is at many stations across the border.
Health Minister Christian Dube believes that a special sense of community in diverse Canada and in the province of Quebec will contribute to success. “We have been through tremendous hardships for centuries, because of the snow and many other things. In difficult times, the people of Quebec stick together.”
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