November 23, 2021 – Provincial government update on the COVID-19 pandemic
Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the provincial government related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vaccination campaign for children aged 5-11 starts today
Québec Premier François Legault, accompanied by Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services, Horacio Arruda, National Director of Public Health in Québec, and Daniel Paré, Director of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Québec , announced that vaccination for children aged 5-11 will start today at vaccination centres, and November 29 at many primary schools.
This decision follows the announcement that Health Canada has approved Pfizer’s lower-dose vaccine. Until now, no vaccine had been approved in Canada for children.
The Comité sur l’immunisation du Québec has published an opinion recommending the use of this vaccine for all children aged 5 to 11 who have no contraindications. The recommended interval is eight or more weeks between the two doses.
“We should be able to give a first dose to all those who want it before the Christmas Holiday break,” said Mr. Legault, noting that this is a “personal choice.”
“We must not put pressure on either parents or children,” Mr. Legault added. He also gave the assurance that no child would be vaccinated without the written consent of their parents.
The vaccination campaign has been in preparation for several weeks, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. As was the case for 12- to 17-year-olds, various methods are available to meet the needs of children and their parents:
- Vaccination in clinics, by making an appointment now on the Clic Santé site or visiting a walk-in location, depending on the region;
- Vaccination organized in collaboration with the school system starting November 29.
It should be noted that not all primary schools will offer vaccination, but every school will offer a vaccination format, for example by hosting mobile vaccination teams or arranging transportation to vaccination sites. Parents will be notified shortly of the service offered by their children’s school.
Maintaining the state of emergency
Mr. Legault stated that the state of health emergency remains necessary in order to enforce the wearing of masks in public areas and the presentation of the vaccination passport at certain places, to pay certain bonuses in the health sector and to hire workers recruited via the Je contribue platform.
He also asked Quebecers to continue to respect the health directives. Finally, he raised the possibility of permanently lifting the state of emergency in late February or early March, when children will have received their second dose.