Quebec opening COVID-19 vaccine appointments to everyone by May 14
MONTREAL -- Quebec has announced that everyone 18 and older will be able to book an appointment for COVID-19 vaccines by May 14 as the province begins to roll out its mass vaccination campaign to the general public.
Here is the new schedule for when people in designated age groups can book their first shot on the Clic Sante website:
- April 30: ages 50 to 59
- May 3: ages 45 to 49
- May 5: ages 40 to 44
- May 7: ages 35 to 39
- May 10: ages 30 to 34
- May 12: ages 25 to 29
- May 14: ages 18 to 24
"The sky is starting to get sunny," Dube said as he announced the news at a press conference Thursday.
Quebec is expecting a large shipment of 2,517,080 doses over the next several weeks as it ramps up its campaign. Dube said that includes 450,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which are expected every week. More Moderna vaccines are also heading to Quebec, with 130,000 delivered Thursday and 230,000 doses coming the week of May 10.
A jubilant Horacio Arruda, Quebec's public health director, said not having enough vaccines for everyone at the beginning of the pandemic was a "nightmare."
"Now, we can say I’ve got a dream and that dream is coming true. The vaccine is the way to get away from that terrible disease," he said.
Dube did not have any numbers for the AstraZeneca vaccine, which, for now, will still only be available for people aged 45 and over.
As of Thursday at 11 a.m., Quebec said it has administered 3 million doses of vaccines, meaning 35 per cent of the population has received at least one jab. Of those, 76,399 people have received two doses.
The province still believes that all eligible Quebecers will be able to get their first shot by June 24. The mass vaccination campaign in Quebec started on Dec. 13 when an 89-year-old care home resident became the first in Canada to receive a shot. Since then, the roll-out has been targed for vulnerable populations, including people with chronic health conditions, essential workers and people in long-term care homes.
END OF THE LOCKDOWN?
Even as the mass vaccination campaign heats up and places like Montreal and Laval will relax its curfew next week, the health minister said it's too soon to remove lockdown measures in the province.
"I think it's a little premature to be finalizing that now because look at what is happening in the Lower St. Lawrence region," he said. "We still have situations of variants and that can sometimes affect our plans. So, for me, it's quite clear that those discussions are ongoing."
Parts of the Bas-Saint-Laurent region will go into a special measures alert starting Friday, however, primary schools will remain open, Dube said.
New modelling released Thursday from Quebec’s institute of public health (INSPQ) projects that hospitalizations in Montreal could stabilize or even drop in May, but only if the public maintains a "strong" adherence to public health measures.