By Matthew McCully
The Quebec government announced on Wednesday evening that due to a decrease in the number of Pfizer vaccine doses scheduled to arrive in Canada, no additional appointments will be available during the first two weeks of July in Quebec. However, appointments that have already been made or advanced so far will be honoured.
The plan to have all Quebecers aged 12 and over adequately vaccinated by Aug. 31 is still in place, a press release explained.
According to information transmitted by the federal government, at least 300,000 fewer doses of Pfizer vaccine are expected for the week of July 5, and roughly the same will be delivered for the week of July 12 to Quebec.
The current priority for vaccination teams is to ensure that enough Pfizer doses are available for the appointments already planned.
People who move up their appointments in the next few days will be offered time slots later this summer, possibly in the last few weeks of July or in August.
The announcement about the decrease in Pfizer doses was followed by an announcement from the Health and Social Services Ministry with an updated opinion about AstraZeneca from the Comité sur l’immunisation du Québec (CIQ).
According to the CIQ, it is preferable that people who received a first dose of AstraZeneca receive an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) as a second dose.
People who had low platelet thrombosis following a first dose of AstraZeneca, or who have a history of heparin-associated thrombocytopenia (low platelets), should avoid AstraZeneca for their second dose and receive an mRNA vaccine instead, the CIQ recommends.
However, the offer of a second dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine remains a safe, valid option and will continue to be available. Vaccination with two doses of AstraZeneca has been extensively studied and offers adequate protection against COVID-19, the Health Ministry said.
Quebec reported 161 new cases of COVID-19 in the last day, bringing the total number of people infected to 373 531. There are currently 1,574 active cases in the province.
One new death was reported, for total of 11,178.
Hospitalizations in the province decreased by 14 for a total of 178, and 41 patients are in intensive care.
The Estrie region reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 in the last day. There are currently 69 active cases locally. Of the new cases, 12 were reported in the Haute-Yamaska health sector, three were in Memphremagog, Two were in Sherbrooke, two were in Granit and the Pommeraie and Des Sources each reported one.
No new deaths were reported in Estrie in the last day.