Quebec will allow people to move up 2nd dose as early as next week
Province aims to make 2 doses available to everyone by Aug. 31
Quebecers will be able to move up their second appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week.
Health Minister Christian Dubé said details are still being worked out regarding how changes will be made through the online booking system Clic Santé. Those details will be announced Thursday, he said at a news conference.
The development was first reported in the Montreal Gazette.
Quebec is scheduled to receive an influx of vaccines, with nearly 550,000 doses of Pfizer arriving every week in June.
It is also expecting more than 450,000 doses of Pfizer this week and 237,200 doses of Moderna.
Quebec is leading all provinces in its vaccination campaign, with 55 per cent of its population having received a dose of vaccine.
Only four per cent, however, have received two doses.
Dubé said the goal is to give everyone two doses by Aug. 31.
Dr. Horacio Arruda, the province's public health director, reiterated that those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine will have the option of getting the same or a different vaccine for their second dose.
He said more details on that front will also be announced shortly.
Many Quebecers have been hoping to see their second appointment moved up from four months to three, given the steady quickening pace of vaccination.
Residents in long-term care homes have now received both shots and all those living in private seniors' residences should have theirs by the end of the month, Dubé said.
Dr. Donald Vinh, an infectious diseases specialist at the McGill University Health Centre, said moving up the second dose among the general population is a positive step in the vaccination campaign.
"I think it's really critical that we are able to get everyone their second dose within the three- to four-month time period," he said.
He pointed to recent research that suggests three months between doses could be ideal.
The study, released earlier this month, suggested the Pfizer vaccine generated antibody responses three-and-a-half times larger in older people when a second dose was delayed to 12 weeks after the first.
"We know that when you are fully vaccinated, that not only protects you but also decreases the number of transmission."
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With files from Kwabena Oduro