Montreal

The Big O is still useful, as it gets prepped to become a COVID-19 vaccination site

The government is getting ready to receive hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses in the coming weeks, but there is also a need for large spaces to safely and efficiently administer those doses. That's where the Olympic Stadium comes in.

Olympic Stadium was also used as vaccination site during H1N1 pandemic

The Olympic Stadium's atrium will be used as a vaccination site, as the province looks to pick up the pace of its COVID-19 inoculation campaign. (Jean-Claude Taliana/Radio-Canada)

A little more than two months since the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in province, only three per cent of Quebecers have received a shot. To pick up the pace, the government needs more doses delivered, but it also needs space.

That's where the mostly dormant Olympic Stadium comes in.

The Big O's atrium is one of three east-end locations that will be used as part of Quebec's mass vaccination campaign, Radio-Canada has learned.

The regional health board for the eastern tip of the island is in the final stages of setting up inside the stadium. Last October, a drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic was set up just a few steps away in one of the underground parking lots at the Olympic Park. 

The Big O was also used as a vaccination centre during the H1N1 flu pandemic.

Martin Brodeur Arena, in Saint-Léonard, and the Roussin community centre in Pointe-aux-Trembles are the other two locations that will be used by the CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal.

Earlier this month, health officials set up a massive vaccination site at the Palais des congrès in downtown Montreal.

The regional health authority for Laval is renting space inside several shopping malls as it gets ready to administer vaccines at those locations by the end of the month.

The province is expected to receive more than 91,000 doses from Pfizer-BioNtech within the coming days, after weeks of receiving a much lower supply. 

According to data from the province's Health Ministry, 56 per cent of health-care workers had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Feb. 14

With files from Radio-Canada's Daniel Boily

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