Quebecers 84 and older will get COVID-19 vaccine starting next week

The province’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign is finally ramping up, with Quebecers 84 and older in the general population able to get shots as early as next week.

Premier François Legault made the announcement during Tuesday afternoon’s COVID-19 briefing from Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.

The atrium of the stadium, once home to the Montreal Expos, has been converted into a vaccination site.

The province’s first COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Quebec on Dec. 14, and the inoculation campaign has since focused on residents in long-term care homes and private seniors homes, as well as health-care workers. 

So far, more than 350,000 Quebecers have received shots, accounting for less than four per cent of the population.

The pace of the province’s vaccination efforts has garnered criticism, including from Ottawa, and last month’s drastic reduction in the number of doses delivered from Pfizer-BioNtech didn’t help matters.

In recent weeks, the province has been prepping several vaccination sites, including the one at the Big O and the Palais des congrès in downtown Montreal.

The campaign will begin in Montreal, but Quebecers across the province can make appointments as of Thursday. Legault said it is preferable to make an appointment online at quebec.ca/vaccincovid.

Those who do not have internet access or someone who can help them can call 1-877-644-4545, also as of Thursday.

“This is great news because vaccines is our best hope to win this battle,” Legault said.

“We have vaccinated everyone in CHSLDs [long-term care homes] and we are seeing the results; there are almost no deaths in CHSLDs.”

But with more contagious variants on the rise, Legault said “numbers could change very quickly if we let our guard down.”

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