Ontario's two top doctors were caught discussing their announcements on a hot mic just prior to hosting a press conference on December 14.
“I don't know why I bring all these papers, I never look at them” Ontario Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe says, referring to the stack of notes she brought along with her. “I just say whatever they write down for me,” Yaffe says with a chuckle.
“That's funny. Yeah same,” replies Ontario's top doctor and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams.
Dr. Yaffe also said at the press conference that it hasn't yet been demonstrated that the vaccine prevents infection, and that those who receive the vaccine may be still be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19, concluding that “even when somebody's vaccinated, they need to protect themselves and others from spreading the infection.”
December 14 marked the beginning of a COVID vaccine rollout in Canada, with personal support worker Anita Quidangen receiving Ontario's first shot shortly after noon.
Dr. Williams and Health Minister Christine Elliot had previously suggested that limits may be placed on Ontarians who refuse to take the vaccine, with Dr. Williams saying that “what we can do is to say sometimes for access, or ease, in getting into certain settings, if you don’t have vaccination then you’re not allowed into that setting without other protection materials.”
Elliot meanwhile, said that although the vaccine wouldn't be mandatory, “there may be some restrictions placed on people that don’t have vaccines for travel purposes, to be able to go theatres and other places,” noting that it “will be up to the individual person to decide whether they want to receive the vaccine to be able to do these things or not.”
The minister also added that Ontario would be issuing government documentation to individuals as a means of providing proof they have received the vaccine, saying that such paperwork would be “essential” as the province exits the pandemic.