Starting at noon on Thursday, Quebec will offer Moderna's bivalent, Omicron-tailored COVID-19 vaccine in most of its vaccination sites. 


The "Spikevax Bivalent" booster shot, approved by Health Canada earlier this month, targets both the original strain of COVID-19 as well as the Omicron variant.


The announcement was made Wednesday by Public Health Dr. Luc Boileau and Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, president of Quebec's Immunization Committee (CIQ).


The vaccine will be the primary, preferred option to those getting a vaccine who are older than 30. Quebecers aged 18 to 30 are still eligible but will be offered the Pfizer vaccine first. 


This is because the Moderna vaccine may pose a slightly higher risk of heart inflammation (myocarditis) for younger adults.


According to Boileau, Quebec should have adequate supply of the bivalent vaccine to meet demand. 


"The first batch will be a little bit less than 800,000 doses here in Quebec," he said, with more deliveries expected in the coming weeks. 


He said it's too early to confirm what will happen with the COVID-19 vaccines currently stored in Quebec after Spikevax doses replace them. 


Boileau also announced Wednesday that Quebec's annual influenza vaccination campaign would be ahead of schedule this year, beginning in October rather than November.


"We think that it would be better to take advantage of our capacities with our vaccination centres," he said.


Both the COVID-19 and influenza vaccines can be offered at the same time, Boileau noted.