Quebec's health minister says young adults key to avoiding COVID-19 vaccine passport
MONTREAL -- Quebec's health minister told young people Friday their decisions to get vaccinated will make the difference as to whether the government will impose a "vaccine passport" should cases rise in the fall.
The percentage of Quebecers vaccinated with two doses rises by one percentage point each day, Christian Dube said on Twitter. But the percentage of people aged 18 to 29 who have had a single dose remains stuck at 70 per cent, he lamented. The government's target is to have 75 per cent of people in every age bracket fully vaccinated by the end of August.
"Young people must make a difference if we want to avoid using the vaccination passport," Dube tweeted. "The variant is already present in Quebec," he said. "The time is now."
Quebec's government says it will impose a vaccine-passport system beginning in September that would require people to prove they are vaccinated to access non-essential businesses, such as bars and gyms, in parts of the province where COVID-19 transmission is high.
Dube tweeted later on Friday that between July 8 and July 22, 54 per cent of people infected with COVID-19 in the province were in the 20-to-39 age bracket, which has the lowest vaccination rates. About 70 per cent of all infections during that period involved people under the age of 40, he added.
Meanwhile, health officials in the province reported 101 new COVID-19 cases Friday and one more death attributed to the novel coronavirus. They said hospitalizations dropped by four, to 67, with intensive care patients stable at 21. Quebec has 752 active reported cases of COVID-19.
The province's public health institute says 83 per cent of Quebecers over 12 have received at least one dose and 59.8 are considered fully vaccinated. The Health Department said 94,624 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered Thursday, the vast majority of those second doses.
Quebec has reported a total of 376,530 confirmed infections and 11,239 deaths linked to the virus.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 23, 2021.