Sask. health minister says signs point to 4th wave, cites personal freedoms as reason against mandates – CBC

‘That’s their choice,’ Paul Merriman says of Saskatchewan vaccine holdouts

Aug 25, 2021

Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman says there are signs the province is entering its fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that the provincial government is not prepared to mandate vaccinations.

Doing so would infringe on “people’s personal rights,” Merriman said in a news conference at the legislative assembly on Wednesday, following pressure from the Opposition to mandate vaccines among some groups, including health-care workers.

“I don’t know why it has to be a government mandate,” Merriman said. “If it’s government mandated, it changes the factor of the government telling you what to do versus you making a choice to go get it. If people don’t want to get vaccinated, that’s their choice.”

Merriman said there’s a small percentage of people that “just will not get vaccinated” and that incentives used in other provinces haven’t been shown to improve vaccination numbers. Instead, the province has recently hosted vaccine clinics at Saskatchewan Roughrider games and festivals, he said.

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