MONTREAL -- Most of the public health measures in Quebec will be lifted once the vast majority of kids are vaccinated against COVID-19, which Premier François Legault hinted Thursday could happen early next year. 

During an announcement about promoting hockey in Quebec, the premier reacted to news that Canada is set to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Friday for children aged five to 11.

Quebec is “ready” to start immunizing kids, he said, but is waiting on the go-ahead from Ottawa.

"Once it's ready, we'll begin, so I'm ready for an announcement with [Health Minister Christian Dubé]," he said at the Bell Centre. 

"Once we have vaccinated say 80 per cent of youth five to 11, the prospects are good that most of the measures will disappear. It’s coming—beginning of 2022.”

Across the border, Ontario has already announced a five-step plan to gradually lift all public health measures by late March 2022, including mask requirements and proof of vaccination.

No such detailed plan exists in Quebec, but the Legault government is now offering some hope to residents that a normal life is within reach, though he stressed that vaccinating enough children will be key to getting there.

Despite opposition from his opponents at the National Assembly, Legault said the state of emergency will remain at least until 2022. 

The federal government has scheduled a media briefing for 10 a.m. Friday to discuss the plan for vaccinating youth in Canada. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech submitted a request to Health Canada on Oct. 18 to have their vaccine authorized for use with children.

Both companies say the results of their trials in kids show comparable safety and efficacy results to those found in a previous Pfizer-BioNTech study in adults aged 16 to 25.

With files from CTV News' Andrew Brennan and The Canadian Press