By Gordon Lambie
Although the press conference scheduled to announce the details of the vaccine rollout for 5-11 year-olds did not begin until after press time, the ClicSanté online portal was already open for appointments on Tuesday morning, with appointments being booked as early as Wednesday.
Health Canada approved a child dosage for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine last week and Health Minister Christian Dubé has repeatedly said that he hopes to see all children 5 and up who wish to be vaccinated by Christmas.
If Quebec opts to respect the recommended interval of eight weeks between doses, those children who receive their first dose this week should be able to receive a second dose by mid to late January.
The province reported 699 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of people infected since the start of the pandemic to 440,462 with 6,326 active cases.
There were five new deaths recorded, for a total of 11,565.
After having risen slightly on Monday, the number of hospitalizations decreased by one to 203, with 46 people in intensive care.
Monday’s report from the Eastern Townships brought the news of 318 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the total number of active cases in the region to 865. After several continuous days of increases, Tuesday’s report from the provincial institute of public health saw that total decrease very slightly, to 864.
Within the region, the hardest hit areas according to rate of infection were Des Sources (668.1 cases per 100,000 people), Granit (558.4 cases per 100,000 people), Memphremagog (341.9 cases per 100,000 people), and the Haut-Saint-François (258,7 cases per 100,000 people). The region with the highest number of individual cases remained Sherbrooke, with 247, followed by Memphremagog with 181, and Granit 119.
There were nine people in hospital for COVID-19 in the Townships on Tuesday, one of whom was in intensive care.