The Quebec government announced on Tuesday that the influenza vaccine will continue to be free of charge for anyone who wishes to take advantage of it during the next annual autumn vaccination campaign against this disease.

In a brief press release, Health and Social Services Minister Christian Dubé explained that the decision had been taken to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses during periods of high transmission and to avoid overloading front-line medical services.

The minister added that the measure would ensure better access to services for Quebecers in the interests of fairness.

At the end of November last year, the Quebec government announced that the extension of free vaccination was an exceptional measure that would be reassessed in 2023.

The public health authorities point out that the people most at risk of developing complications from influenza are those aged 75 and over, those suffering from chronic illnesses, and pregnant women in their second and third trimesters.

Priority groups also include families with children under six months of age, health-care workers, people living in the same household as these people, and caregivers.

To register, Quebecers are invited to go to Clic Santé and select the Influenza module. Several pharmacies and private clinics will also be offering the influenza vaccination service.

The walk-in service will also be available in certain locations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 30, 2023.