Quebec adds COVID-19 vaccine drive-thru to its immunization program
MONTREAL -- Quebec is adding a COVID-19 vaccine drive-thru to its immunization program, announced Health Minister Christian Dube Tuesday morning.
"People want to be vaccinated," he said. "What we're offering today is an additional service...people can come by in cars with the family. So, it's quite something because they don't need to have a babysitter."
About 20 tents have been set up across an employee parking lot at Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
Planning for the site has been going on since mid-February; six people were vaccinated during a demonstration Tuesday morning.
The expectation behind the drive-thru model is that carloads of people could be vaccinated quickly, about 4,000 doses administered a day.
"We know that performance is really important and we want the population not to wait in line to get their vaccine," said Lynne McVey, CEO of the West Island regional health board (CIUSSS).
The hope is that these types of clinics could also make it easier for people with reduced mobility to get their vaccines.
These sites require less staff as well, explained West Island CIUSSS logistics director Daniela Candido.
"There’s a reduction in the number of maintenance, the cleaning staff because it’s an open area. That’s one. Two because we are evaluating several people at the same time in the car," she said.
The drive-thru clinic is expected to be up and running by May 17.
The announcement is the latest from the government in its effort to vaccinate as many people as possible.
On April 8, officials named 13 companies allowed to operate clinics in their workplaces. Each site would have the capacity to vaccinate up to 25,000 people by August.
Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Jim Beis said he's been pushing for a site right next to city hall in his borough.
"It’s a city site, it’s a central location, it sits on a main artery, it allows for cars to be able to be in and out of this location quite easily," he said.
Montreal's airport authority is also partnering with Air Canada and Bombardier to create a vaccination hub, operating two sites at the departure level of the airport terminal and in a nearby Bombardier hangar.
- With files from CTV Montreal's Kelly Greig