March 18, 2021 – Québec government update on the COVID-19 pandemic

Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by provincial government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vaccinations to accelerate in May and June

The minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, explained that vaccinations will accelerate in Québec so as to meet the goal set by Premier François Legault of vaccinating all those who wish to receive one to get their first dose by June 24.

Mr. Dubé noted that several observers were concerned that the goal of vaccinating some 5 million Quebecers in 100 days represents an average of 50,000 vaccinations per day, while the best result to date has been 32,000 people in one day, which was last Saturday.

Taking into account vaccine deliveries, Mr. Dubé explained that March and April will show lower average numbers while May and June should see a greater pace of vaccinations.

“Even though we’d like to administer 50,000 vaccinations now, we’re not receiving enough doses,” said the minister, but specified that “the machine is in place to do so.”

Pilot study to vaccinate parents of students

 The Direction régionale de santé publique de Montréal (DRSP) will be leading a pilot project to vaccinate parents of students in schools in the Plamondon sector and in the municipality of

Côte-Saint-Luc to counter the spread of the new variants, which is greater there than anywhere else on the Island of Montréal.

Minister Dubé pointed out that this initiative was undertaken by the team of Dr. Mylène Drouin, who has called for more “agility to vaccinate differently.” Minister Dubé noted that Dr. Drouin’s team has managed very well so far to contain the spread of the new variants of COVID-19, which are more contagious, pathogenic and deadly.

Mr. Dubé added that the pilot project will be closely followed and, depending on the results, might be repeated elsewhere.

1.5 million doses from the United States

The minister was very pleased by the American government’s announcement that it will lend 1.5 million vaccine doses to Canada.

“That means about 300,000 more doses for Québec.”

Vaccinated with AstraZeneca

The minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, publicly received his vaccination on schedule, based on his age, at the Palais des congrès vaccination centre.

“I feel really good,” he said, and expressed how he understands the happiness of those who have been vaccinated and immunized. Mr. Dubé stressed that the nurse reminded him to remain cautious and to continue to follow the health guidelines for the next three to four weeks, the time it takes for the vaccine to take full effect.

Mr. Dubé received the Indian version of the British AstraZeneca vaccine.

“I think it’s important to show by example what we’re asking of the population. We must be the example,” said Mr. Dubé. He will receive his second and last dose on July 8, almost five months after the first.