By Gordon Lambie
Health Minister Christian Dubé told reporters Monday that a version of the VaxiCode and VaxiCode verif applications compatible with Android phones would be ready by then end of the day, although as of this writing the program had yet to make an appearance. The comments came following a delay of almost a week between the release of the version of the app for Apple users and a Google-compatible version.
Dubé clarified that the program, which will serve as the basis for the province’s vaccination passport program as of Wednesday, went to both companies at the same time, but each processed the request within their own timeframe.
While stating that the program will work best through the smartphone app, the health minister pointed out that a printed version of a person’s proof of vaccination code will also work.
Asked about the paper version of the code, a representative of the ministry of health said that the important thing is to not crease the paper through the code or print it out in a colour other than black, as this could make it more difficult for digital scanners to read. The representative also shared that the VaxiCode app allows a user to store up to 10 QR codes, allowing caregivers, for example, to use the app on behalf of another.
According to Dubé, 5.5 million Quebecers have already downloaded their QR code, and 1.3 million Apple users have downloaded the app.
Monday also brought news from Quebec’s immunization committee, the CIQ, that a third vaccine dose is now being recommended for people who are immunocompromised or undergoing dialysis in order to provide better protection. For the moment the recommendation is limited to these two groups and specifically does not include people living in long term care homes (CHSLDs), as this latter group is now considered to be at a lower level of risk.
The Province of Quebec reported 386 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday bringing the total number of people infected to 388,799 with 4,405 active cases. There were 0 new deaths, keeping that total at 11,285, and the number of people hospitalized due to the virus decreased by one to 125. The number of people in intensive care, meanwhile, increased by one to 37.
The number of active cases in the Eastern townships decreased to 161 as of Monday’s report, with four in hospital, one of whom is in intensive care. A more detailed report on the local situation is expected from the CIUSSS-de l’Estrie – CHUS
80.3 three per cent of the eligible population across the province is now considered adequately vaccinated and 86.9 per cent have received at least one dose.