Bolduc unveils new strategy
Quebec Health Minister Yves Bolduc says the government will be implementing a coupon distribution system in an effort to reduce the long lines and confusion at some H1N1 vaccination centres in the province.
At a press conference in Quebec City, Bolduc said the government's vaccination program is unfolding relatively well, although some regions have encountered problems.
The new system means that people who show up at vaccination centres will have to show ID to prove that they are from the region and are in the target group for priority vaccinations.
Upon presenting valid identification, they will be issued a coupon that assures them they will be vaccinated. Bolduc said this will prevent people from waiting in line for hours only to be turned away, because the vaccination centres will only be giving out the number of coupons that corresponds to the number of doses of vaccine available.
Bolduc said the government already experimented with the system in Gatineau, and it proved to be effective.
The system will be in effect as of Wednesday morning in the Quebec City region, in the Monteregie, and in the Laurentians.
It will begin Thursday morning in Montreal.
Dr. Alain Poirier, Quebec's director of public health, said the number of confirmed cases of swine flu has increased.
In the past three days, 57 Quebecers have been hospitalized because of the H1N1 virus.
Six of those patients were hospitalized in the past 24 hours.