Seniors and CHSLD staff will be vaccinated as a priority when the first Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines arrive in Quebec, possibly as early as next week.
• Read also: Up to 249,000 COVID-19 vaccines from next week
• Read also: Sharp increase in hospitalizations in Quebec
• Read also: Vaccine in Canada: between hope and complexity
This is what public health officials said during a technical briefing on Monday.
Ottawa had announced earlier in the morning that the country could receive some 249,000 doses by the end of December, including a first batch as early as next week, if Health Canada approves the vaccine by then.
Quebec should receive the doses in proportion to its population. Since the vaccine requires two doses, it is estimated that 28,000 Quebecers could be immunized by the end of the month.
About 650,000 Quebecers could be vaccinated during the first three months of 2021, thanks to vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, according to government estimates.
“Quebec is ready to vaccinate as soon as we receive the first doses,” said Minister of Health Christian Dubé at a press briefing.
A total of 20 vaccination sites have already been identified with Pfizer for vaccine distribution, including four in Montreal and two in Montérégie.
Public Health estimates that some 40,000 seniors will be targeted initially by this historic vaccination campaign against COVID-19. Staff working alongside them will also be immunized at the same time.
Seniors in CHSLDs are often the most at risk of dying from complications related to COVID-19, due to their state of health. Thus, by targeting those most at risk first, Public Health believes that vaccination could quickly have a significant impact on the pandemic in Quebec.
Quebec plans to distribute the vaccine at the same time throughout the territory, as the doses arrive.
Like the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, which reports to the federal government, Quebec’s Public Health has established an order of priority for the vaccination campaign.
After the CHSLDs, the approximately 325,000 workers in the health network will be targeted. However, Quebec does not intend to force them or anyone else to accept the vaccine.
People in private seniors’ residences will follow, those living in remote communities (including certain Aboriginal nations), then the elderly in decreasing age groups.