MONTREAL -- All Quebecers who have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can now advance the date of their second dose — regardless of the type of vaccine that was in their first shot — when it’s their turn to do so.

Starting Tuesday, people 50 and over who received the Moderna or AstraZeneca shot will be eligible to visit the Clic Santé website to change their date for a second dose, as long as at least eight weeks have passed between the two shots.

Previously, only people who received a first Pfizer shot were eligible to advance the date of their second dose.

The age limit to change appointments for second doses will be lowered by five years each day this week through Friday. This means people 45 and older can request a sooner second dose beginning Wednesday. Choosing a sooner date for a second dose remains optional and people are free to keep the original appointment date they were given after their first dose. 

For recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine, they can choose to get an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer), if it’s available, or a second dose of AstraZeneca when they show up for their second appointment at a vaccination centre. 

Daniel Paré, director of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Quebec, said people who may have experieced errors booking a second dose online are invited to try again over the next few days as officials try to address the glitches on the government portal. 

3/4 OF NEW CASES FROM UNVACCINATED PEOPLE: MINISTER

Health minister Christian Dubé once again urged everyone who is eligible to get their shots, telling reporters at a COVID-19 news conference that three quarters of new cases in Quebec are from people who have not been vaccinated.

He said he is hoping people take advantage of the vaccines that are now readily available to avoid a fourth wave after the summer.

“If we don’t want this to happen in September, let’s make sure that you get vaccinated,” he said. “We have millions of vaccines that are available and we have all the vaccination centres that are available.”

“The big advantage is to have the vaccination, which we didn’t have last summer,” he added.

So far, just under 70 per cent of Quebecers are now partially vaccinated with one dose, while the current daily average of vaccinations given hovers around 91,000 shots in the past seven days. Approximately 1 million second doses have also been administered in Quebec to date. 

More doses are on the way as the vaccination campaign continues to ramp up, with 654,080 doses of Moderna expected this week. A total of 511,290 doses of the Pfizer vaccine also arrived in Quebec on Monday while another 30,000 are scheduled to arrive later this week. 

PROOF OF VACCINATION PORTAL

Starting Wednesday, a new self-service portal will be accessible for people to download a digital version of proof of vaccination. The QR code can be downloaded by visiting the site for those who have not already received the digital proof via email or text message. 

The government said it is still in talks about how the electronic proof of vaccination will be used.