Quebec aiming to start targeted vaccinations next week

By Gordon Lambie
Quebec aiming to start targeted vaccinations next week

Quebec’s Health Minister, Christian Dubé, announced Monday that if all goes as planned, a small group of people in Quebec City and Montreal long term-care homes (CHSLDs) could be receiving the province’s first COVID-19 vaccine doses as early as next week.
“Quebec is ready to start vaccinations as soon as we get the first dose,” Dubé said, pointing out that although everything depends on the vaccine’s approval by the federal government, the province is supposed to receive four boxes containing enough doses for 2,000 people from pharmaceutical company Pfizer “imminently.”
The Health Minister went on to say that a second delivery of 57 boxes, or enough doses for approximately 22-28,000 people, is supposed to follow between Dec. 21 and Jan. 4. These doses will be distributed at 20 sites across the province, one in each administrative region, with four in Montreal and two in the Monteregie, to the most vulnerable populations.
After that, Dubé said that the province is expecting 1.3 million doses, or enough for about 650,000 people, over the first three months of 2021.
Quebec reported 1,577 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of people infected to 153,176. The data also report 22 new deaths, for a total of 7,277. The number of hospitalizations increased by 40 compared to the previous day, for a cumulative total of 818. Among these, the number of people in intensive care increased by 3, for a total of 105.
The Estrie region recorded another 102 cases of COVID-19 on Monday while two new deaths brought the local total to 75. The number of hospitalizations, meanwhile, decreased by three to 25, four of whom were in intensive care.
During his weekly update on the local situation, regional public health director Dr. Alain Poirier said that things are “not getting back under control” when it comes to number of cases reported daily. He pointed out that there had been a significant increase in the daily averages last week and that although there has not been a significant increase in hospitalizations so far, one tends to follow the other.
As of Monday afternoon, there were 104 outbreaks being tracked across the Estrie and an estimated 966 active cases across the region, 628 of which were in either Sherbrooke or Granby. Dr. Poirier also noted that Coaticook, which has mostly been spared so far during the pandemic, now reports more than 30 active cases and has an outbreak in both a school and a long-term care facility.
In the case of Sherbrooke the public health director said that more than 40 per cent of cases are concentrated in a new cluster that has been identified in Fleurimont. A cluster, by comparison to an outbreak, is a term used for a high concentration of cases in a particular area that have not necessarily been linked to one another.
Poirier also noted that the ‘second wave’ of the virus has now proven twice as deadly in the Estrie as the ‘first wave’ ever was.
“We have reached a step where we need even more cooperation,” he said, asking people to redouble their efforts to respect guidelines and help control the spread of the virus.
Taking a moment to speak of another virus, Poirier also used the online update to remind the population that there are still 1,800 appointments for flu shots available in the region. He pointed out that the general consensus is that this year’s flu virus has yet to make its way into the region but added the reminder that it takes about 10 days after the vaccine is administered for it to reach full effect. Anyone wishing to make an appointment to get the flu vaccine is encouraged to visit

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