Mass vaccinations in Quebec will begin next week, but a lot of details are still being worked out.
There are several mass vaccination sites across Montreal, including one at the Olympic Stadium, said Quebec Premier Francois Legault in an announcement Tuesday afternoon.
Those in the Greater Montreal Area born in 1936 or before (aged 85 and up) can start signing up Thursday and will be given first priority, Legault said.
Health-care professionals will confirm the date of the second shot when they get the first shot.
“Hope is here,” said Legault. “We at last see the light at the end of the tunnel and we’re not talking about the remote future.”
For more information on booking a vaccination appointment, visit the Quebec COVID-19 vaccination campaign website.
The government is reminding citizens that any electronic communication offering vaccinations for a fee is fraudulent, and should be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Legault added that he was worried about March Break sparking a third COVID-19 wave, and is urging citizens to remain vigilent in regards to public health measures.
“Next week is March break. I have to say that it worries us,” said Legault. “We must avoid gatherings, to avoid a third wave. In a few weeks, we’ll have vaccinated vulnerable people. We must continue our efforts. Until then, I’m counting on you all.”
He was joined by Health Minister Christian Dube and director of public health Dr. Horacio Arruda at a news conference.
More information for those 75 years and older, and those outside of Montreal, will be announced in the coming days.
“We’ll commit to doing things within 90 days,” said Dube. “If we can speed things up, we’ll do it.”
Dube said there are around 3,200 people trained to administer vaccines, but 1,000 additional people will be needed by May.
“We need more staff for our vaccination teams,” he said.
Those with an appointment must go to an official vaccination centre. Dube suggested arranging accompaniment ahead of time for those with mobility issues.
“Right now we cannot move these vaccines,” said Dube. “We’re dependent on what type of vaccine we have.”
Legault said that the province has vaccinated all CHSLDs, almost half of the total number of people in senior care homes, and around 200,000 workers.
Dube said that if the schedule from the federal government remains on course, he feels the entire population of the province should be vaccinated by the end of September.
“If we receive the doses that we’re supposed to receive and get those two doses, we can be able to do that by the end of September,” he said.
Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, president of Montreal’s West-Central health network, joined CTV News Montreal anchor Mutsumi Takahashi on Tuesday to give some insight into the plan.
Here’s what we know about vaccinations in Montreal:
WHEN WILL I GET A SHOT?
The general population has been broken down into the following priority groups:
- People 85 years of age or older
- People 70 to 84 years of age
- People 60 to 69 years of age
- Adults under 60 years of age who have a chronic disease or health problem that increases the risk of complications of COVID‑19
- Adults under 60 without chronic diseases or health problems increasing the risk of complications, but who provide essential services and who are in contact with certain vulnerable populations, such as a family member in a CHSLD
- The rest of the adult population
HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN IT’S MY TURN?
Rosenberg says people will be notified when it’s their turn.
“I don’t think anybody should fear that they won’t have access to the information,” he said on Monday.
Legault said an announcement will be forthcoming about the next group eligible to book appointments.
WHERE CAN I GET VACCINATED?
Not all sites have been announced. Here are the ones in the Montreal area we know about so far:
- Palais des congres de Montreal – 1001 Jean-Paul-Riopelle Place
- The Olympic Stadium – 4545 Pierre-de Coubertin Avenue
- Decarie Square Shopping Centre – 6900 Décarie Boulevard
- A shared office building – 7101 Parc Avenue
- Bill-Durnan Arena – 4988 Vézina Street
- Bob-Birnie Arena – 58 Maywood Avenue (Pointe-Claire)
- The Dollard-St-Laurent Sports Centre – 707 75e Avenue (LaSalle)
- Gerry-Robertson Community Centre – 9665 Gouin Boulivard W (Pierrefonds-Roxboro)
CAN I GET VACCINATED AT HOME?
Not with the Pfizer vaccine, which requires very cold storage temperatures. Dube said the Moderna vaccine may allow for more flexibility, but the Pfizer vaccine requires people go to an official vaccination centre.
“There’s some indication that we wouldn’t even be able to make home visits with the Moderna vaccine,” said Rosenberg.
But that doesn’t mean there will never be an order-in option. Rosenberg says there are other vaccines pending Health Canada approval that might be appropriate for door-to-door delivery.
SHOULD I GET THE VACCINE?
What if you’ve already had the virus? Should you still get a shot? Rosenberg says yes.
“The simple answer is just about everybody should be vaccinated, even if you had a documented COVID-19 infection in the last 12 months,” he said
The only exception may be those with pre-existing medical conditions or immunosuppressed people.
Rosenberg says that if you’re unsure, you should talk to your physician.
“Those people that are being actively immunosuppressed by chemotherapy or by a transplant related immunosuppression [may need to postpone] vaccination because the vaccine may not be as effective,” he said.
— with reporting from Daniel J. Rowe.