MONTREAL -- As vaccinations for COVID-19 ramp up, more and more Montrealers can expect to roll up their sleeves soon and get a shot. Here’s what you need to know.

WHO CAN GET VACCINATED RIGHT NOW?

All Quebecers aged 60 and older can register to receive the vaccine. Essential workers and residents with chronic illnesses in Montreal will also be able to book vaccination appointments online. 

The AstraZeneca vaccine is available for people aged 45-years-old and up.

Right now, eligibility is determined mostly by age. Before late February, the vaccines had only been given to certain top-priority groups not determined by age, such as health-care workers, people in remote communities, and people in care homes.

But recently, vaccines have been made available to the general population. Public health officials started with the most elderly in the general population, aged 85 and up. 

Read on for more details.

WHO IS NEXT IN LINE?

According to the province’s vaccine roll-out plan, the next group in line to get a vaccine will be adults under 60 years of age who have a chronic disease or health problem that increases the risk of complications of COVID‑19;

The rest of the roll-out plan is as follows, in order:

• Adults under 60 years of age who do not have a chronic disease or health problem that increases the risk of complications, but who provide essential services and have contact with users;

• The rest of the adult population.

HOW WILL I FIND OUT WHEN I CAN RECEIVE THE VACCINE?

The province is announcing when each new phase of the vaccine roll-out is beginning. Each group will hear in the news when it’s their turn.

WHERE DO I SIGN UP?

People can sign up to receive the vaccine when it’s their turn by visiting the Quebec COVID-19 vaccination campaign website or by calling 1-877-644-4545.

The phone line is staffed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE REGISTERING?

For vaccines other than the AstraZeneca option, which is being provided at some walk-in clinics, appointments are mandatory in order to receive a shot.

The vaccine is free to recieve, and you do not need a Quebec health-care card to get a dose, though if you do have a card you must use it.

WHO HAS ALREADY RECEIVED THE VACCINE?

Vaccinations started in late 2020 for front-line health care workers and residents in long-term care homes, as well as those in isolated communities.

COVID-19 vaccinations in Quebec started in mid-December, with the first shot administered to an 89-year-old resident in the St-Antoine CHSLD.

As of April 4, Quebec has administered a total of 1,529,541 doses, meaning that 18 per cent of the population has been vaccinated.

WHERE ARE THE VACCINES BEING DISTRIBUTED?

The shots are being given out at mass vaccination centres set up across Montreal and the province. As of March 22, more than 300 pharmacies in Montreal are offering vaccination appointments to eligble residents. Visit the Quebec COVID-19 vaccination campaign website or call 1-877-644-4545 for more information. 

For now, vaccinations are not administered during home visits. People have to visit a designated vaccination site to receive their shot until in-home vaccinations have been made available. 

Details are still being ironed out, but look at CTV Montreal's map to see the vaccination sites that we know about so far.

When making your appointment, the booking website or the person answering the booking phone line will use your postal code to determine which site is closest to you, or they may be able to book you at a site of your choice.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MY APPOINTMENT?

If you have a medicare card, you will need it when you book your appointment and when you show up to receive the vaccine.

You should also bring a list of medications you take and discuss them with the health care provider.

HOW CAN I GET TO MY VACCINATION SITE?

Mylène Drouin, regional director of Montreal Public Health, said that the city will work with community organizations to help seniors with mobility issues get to their appointment if they require assistance.

People who require assistance can call the vaccine campaign phone number at 1-877-644-4545. 

WHEN DO I GET MY SECOND DOSE?

Health-care professionals will confirm the date of your second dose of the vaccine after administering the first shot.

Quebec public health officials have said that provincial advisors have recommended a prolonged COVID-19 vaccination schedule of up to 90 days between the first and second dose -- more than double what a national advisory committee recommended, though the committee later said it didn't object to Quebec's plan.

Quebec authorities said recently the early data suggests the single dose on its own is providing good protection, despite the second-dose delay.

WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?

You can find information about the province’s vaccine plan by visiting the campaign website or by calling 1-877-644-4545.