Vaccinations are a hot topic. Everyone has an opinion. But what does the law say?
Recommended, but not mandatory
Government officials and others often recommend vaccinations. But they can’t vaccinate people who refuse. This is true for young people and adults alike.
Health care professionals need people’s consent (agreement) to vaccinate them. For youth under 14, health care professionals get consent from someone who can make decisions for the young person, usually their parents.
Warning! The government can order people to get vaccinated in very rare emergency situations, like during epidemics. In these types of situations, a judge can force people to get vaccinated even if they refuse.
Going to school without being vaccinated
In Quebec, no one can stop people from going where they want to go because they refuse to be vaccinated. It’s their right to refuse.
So, young people can go to school even if they haven’t had all the recommended vaccinations for certain illnesses.
What happens if one of these illnesses appears at school? In that case, unvaccinated youth can be prevented from attending, but only until the illness is no longer present.
Pursuing a career in health care
If a young person wants a career in health care, it’s best to get the facts about vaccination requirements.
A person working in the health sector can refuse to get vaccinated.
But in some circumstances, that person can be
- prevented from working with certain patients,
- transferred to a different department, or even
- temporarily removed from the workplace . . . without pay!
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.