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COVID-19 vaccination campaign to be held this fall in Quebec

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A vaccination campaign against COVID-19 will take place this fall, Health Minister Christian Dubé announced on Wednesday. Details of the campaign will be known "within the next two weeks," he said.

Dr. Luc Boileau, National Director of Public Health, will issue his recommendations on the management of COVID-19 by the end of August, Dubé said.

"I would tell Quebecers (that) it's certain that there will be a vaccination campaign," he said during a press scrum on Wednesday morning.

Boileau's recommendations will determine whether the vaccines will be aimed at a specific clientele, such as the elderly or citizens with weakened immune systems, for example.

However, "we will never prevent someone from getting vaccinated if they don't fall into that category," said Dubé.

He also said he was closely monitoring the situation regarding the new Omicron sub-variant, the EG.5 'Eris' variant.

"There has been a certain increase in cases, and we're talking about an increase in hospitalizations, but not in intensive care," said Dubé, adding that it was reassuring that the increase was limited to "regular hospitalizations."

For the time being, it's recommended that people who contract COVID-19 isolate themselves for a few days, until the symptoms disappear.

THE RETURN OF FREE RAPID TESTS?

Until last May, rapid tests for COVID-19 were available free of charge in Quebec pharmacies. They are now distributed free of charge at vaccination centers.

Questioned about their return to pharmacies, Minister Dubé replied that the availability, or not, of free rapid tests in pharmacies will be part of Dr. Boileau's recommendations.

This report was first published in French by The Canadian Press on Aug. 16, 2023.

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