“Hi. As directed by the Government of Quebec, we will implement the vaccine passport at our stores in Quebec. We ask for our customer’s patience and understanding as we continue to ensure a safe and efficient customer experience,” Walmart Canada tweeted .
But some customers took to Twitter (TWTR) to express displeasure with the new requirements, leading the hashtag #BoycottWalmart to trend on Tuesday. Some U.S. shoppers joined in the protestation of vaccine mandates.
Another sticking point for critics: viral photos of plexiglass dividers at some Walmart locations in Quebec, which some falsely suggested were meant to isolate unvaccinated people trying to enter the store. Walmart has debunked those accusations, however, explaining in posts on Twitter that the dividers are for store employees to check vaccine passports.
But some people, and not just in North America, chafe at vaccine requirements. Last week, the Michigan-based workwear company Carhartt drew online backlash after its CEO sent an email to employees stating that workers will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Feb. 15. “An unvaccinated workforce is both a people and business risk that our company is unwilling to take,” wrote CEO Mark Valade.
Canada has a higher vaccination rate than the U.S. does, with 77.46% of the country’s total population fully vaccinated, according to the Canadian government , compared with 63.4% in the United States, per the CDC’s vaccine tracker . Vaccination rates in Quebec are about the same as in the entirety of Canada.
Against this backdrop authorities including the World Health Organization have said of late that we could be seeing the end of the “acute phase ” of the pandemic in 2022 — if countries pull together and get vaccines out to the global population.
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