Canada’s chief public health officer said on Friday (March 18) the federal government is actively reviewing all of its COVID-19 vaccine mandates with an eye to ending rules that force some people to get their shots.
Speaking at a press conference with reporters, Dr. Theresa Tam said the country’s public health officials are at a “very important juncture” and COVID-19 policies may soon shift from “an emphasis on requirements to recommendations.”
The federal government currently demands that all federal public servants, workers in federally regulated industries and the transportation sector and members of the travelling public get their COVID-19 shots if they want to go to work, fly on a plane or travel by train.
Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said the federal government and the provinces are in a “transition phase” and will be putting less of an emphasis on forcing people to make certain health choices.
Njoo said that as the COVID-19 situation evolves, there will be a greater focus on personal responsibility.
“All jurisdictions are trying to find a useful balance between what they make mandatory and impose on their citizens and what they can count on individuals to do themselves,” he said.