- At this point in the pandemic, Canadians are “angry” with those who have not rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
- The Conservatives are the only major federal political party that refuses to say how many of their members of parliament have been vaccinated.
Canadians are “angry” with those who have not rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at this point in the pandemic, with widespread new restrictions and tens of thousands of surgeries postponed, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.
“People are frustrated because cancer treatments and elective surgeries are being postponed because beds are filled with people who refuse to get vaccinated.” People get angry when they see that we’re in lockdowns or serious public health restrictions right now because of the risk posed to us all by unvaccinated people,” the prime minister said.
New case counts have reached record highs across the country in recent weeks, owing largely to the rapidly spreading and more transmissible Omicron variant, prompting a new wave of restrictions aimed at relieving the strain on already overburdened healthcare systems and testing facilities.
Politicians and public health officials have been urging Canadians to get vaccinated for months, launching campaigns to educate, encourage, and dispel vaccine myths, and instituting proof-of-vaccination systems that limit access to certain spaces and activities.
As per the most recent federal statistics, more than 87 percent of Canadians aged 12 and up are fully vaccinated. However, millions of Canadians have opted to receive a single dose of COVID-19.
When asked if a new approach is needed after French President Emmanuel Macron said he wants to “piss off” unvaccinated people, Trudeau said he, like many Canadians, is frustrated by anti-vaxxers and that it’s not too late for them to “do the right thing.”
“I can tell you that that front-line health worker who is giving you your first dose of vaccine, even now in January 2022, will be ecstatic to be able to give you that first dose of the vaccine even today,” Trudeau said. “They’d much rather be giving you an injection of vaccine than intubating you in an ICU.”
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole also encouraged Canadians to get vaccinated in a later Facebook live stream, advising those who may still have questions to ask them. However, he did say that he would not “divide people” over the issue.
“I want to make sure everyone gets vaccinated because it’s the most effective tool.” And if we’re just going into lockdown all the time, people will use that as an excuse not to get boosted or vaccinated,” he said. “We can accommodate a small number of people who aren’t vaccinated, and we can use the other tools to help people find balance in their lives.”
The Conservatives are the only major federal political party that refuses to say how many of their members of parliament have been vaccinated. Vaccination is required for all Liberal, Bloc Quebecois, NDP, and Green MPs.