May 6, 2021- Québec government update on the COVID-19 pandemic
Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the provincial government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier François Legault announced his intentions regarding Québec’s reopening plan. He said that the plan will be announced before June 24. Two criteria are important for the reopening plan: the percentage of people vaccinated and infection rates in each region.
The premier said that he wants to base himself on Saskatchewan’s reopening plan. “I’ll rely on Public Health, but what I like about Saskatchewan’s plan is that it’s all laid out. Everyday, I get questions like: ‘Let’s say we’re four families and we’re all vaccinated, when will we be able to get together and have a party?’ This needs to be in the plan. We need that kind of detail!” said Mr. Legault.
“What I’d like to be able to do is tell Quebecers what’s coming in June, July and August. Tell them when we’ll be able to return to normal life,” said the premier.
Update on vaccinations
Minister of Health and Social Services Christian Dubé, the national director of Public Health, Horacio Arruda, and Daniel Paré, the director of Québec’s vaccination campaign, reported on the status of vaccinations in Québec.
Christian Dubé announced that 40% of the Québec population has received at least one dose. He is confident that the target of 75% will be reached by June 24, and maybe even earlier.
Since last week, 1.2 million vaccination appointments have been made and more than 400,000 doses have been administered. The province should receive 7.7 million doses of vaccine by the Fête nationale du Québec.
As for the second dose, Québec plans to have administered 500,000 by June 24. No decision has been made yet regarding the interchangeability of the vaccines, but it is looking likely that it will be approved.
Next week, young people between the ages of 18 and 24 will be able to make an appointment. “We’re calling it youth week. We’re aware that younger people have been waiting a very, very long time to get vaccinated and I’m confident they’ll pleasantly surprise us with very, very high rates of vaccination. We’ll be able to report back to you on that in the coming days,” said Mr. Dubé.
Proof of vaccination
As of May 13, Quebecers who have been vaccinated will have access to digital proof of vaccination. A QR code will be sent by e-mail following each dose. However, proof on paper will continue to be issued at the vaccination centres. No decision has been made regarding a vaccination passport.
Vaccination of young people ages 12 to 17
Opening up vaccination against COVID-19 to young people between the ages of 12 and 17 is now confirmed. Their first dose will be administered before the end of June. The goal is to give them their second dose before the return to school in September. Ideally, the majority would be vaccinated directly at school but a complete plan to this effect will be announced in the coming weeks.
The 12 to 17 age group represents approximately 516,000 people. The government’s objective is a 75% vaccination rate for this group as well.
“This is very good news. The teams are already preparing. There will be a first dose before the end of June and a second by the return to school in September,” said Christian Dubé.
Christian Dubé announced that day camps will be open in Québec this summer. Moreover, camp counsellors can get vaccinated effective immediately by presenting proof of employment. They will be included in the category of essential workers.