PICK A SIDE: Should vaccine mandates include essential services?

Published September 17, 2021 at 12:16 pm

In an effort to encourage more Ontarians to get vaccinated, the Province has implemented a mandate requiring all those who wish to enter certain facilities to provide proof of vaccination before doing so.

The new mandate comes into effect as of September 22. But, at least for now, it is limited to only non-essential services, businesses, and events, including restaurants, gyms, sporting events, bars and nightclubs, meeting spaces, casinos, and strip clubs.

When it was first announced the Province said it will not be extending the mandate to essential services.

But, should this mandate be extended to essential services?

Despite their hesitation to extend the vaccine mandate, the Province has consistently said getting Ontarians vaccinated is the only viable way to escape the pandemic.

Many feel, considering most who are eligible to get vaccinated have done so already, the majority of those who have not been vaccinated likely will not do so unless there is more pressure for them to do so, such as a vaccine mandate.

The data indicates this is accurate—when the vaccine mandate was first announced, thousands of Ontarians booked appointments, and first-dose appointments increased 29 per cent.

Many feel a vaccine mandate for essential services is necessary in order to mitigate the spread of the virus, and protect those who can’t be vaccinated, such as children and those with underlying medical conditions.

Additionally, many feel those who are choosing not to get the vaccine should have to figure out alternative ways to access essential services—such as using curbside pickup options for groceries.

Conversely, some are opposed to any form of vaccine mandate, and they feel essential services should be available to everyone, even those who do not wish to get the vaccine.

Those who are opposed have claimed a vaccine mandate for essential services would be a violation of their rights.

So, readers, what do you think? Should vaccine mandates be extended to essential services in Ontario?

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