Quebecers who received Moderna, AstraZeneca vaccine can move up 2nd dose appointments
Those who received 1st dose of AstraZeneca can request mRNA vaccine for 2nd dose
All Quebecers aged 50 and older can now move up their appointment for a second dose, no matter which vaccine they received for their first dose.
Speaking at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Health Minister Christian Dubé said this is because the province is now expecting a larger vaccine shipment this month.
Younger Quebecers will also soon be able to reschedule their second dose, via the Clic Santé booking site, as the minimum age is progressively lowered over the next week. All adults in the province will be eligible as of June 23.
The recipient must have been vaccinated a minimum of eight weeks prior, down from 16 weeks.
Dubé said it's important Quebecers take advantage of the vaccination window offered this summer, to have the best possible immunity come the fall.
"Vaccination is an individual effort we must make for a collective result," he said.
Quebec is now expecting 1.6 million Moderna doses — nearly 500,000 more than recently planned — by the end of the month. They will be distributed in mass vaccination clinics and pharmacies.
Quebecers who have received a first dose of AstraZeneca and who wish to change vaccines for their second dose will be able to request an mRNA vaccine, Dubé added. A decision will be made on site whether that dose will be Moderna or Pfizer, because both mRNA vaccines are not always available at vaccination centres.
Those who have been vaccinated at a pharmacy are asked to change their appointment on the provincial booking site.
Can't rule out 4th wave, Dubé says
When asked about a potential fourth wave come the fall, Dubé says the Health Ministry can't rule it out, but "vaccination is the solution."
Quebec's public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, said getting two doses is the best way to keep the virus at bay, as a single dose is only 33 per cent effective against the highly contagious delta variant.
He noted that the majority of new cases are seen in unvaccinated people.
Dubé called on Quebecers aged 18 to 39, who have received or booked their first dose at a lower rate than those aged 12 to 17, to not delay in making their appointments.
"If you are able to convince a friend to go get the vaccine, that's the thing to do in the next few weeks, Dubé said.
Dubé was also asked whether the province and public health have made a decision about expanding capacity at the Bell Centre in time for Montreal Canadiens-Las Vegas Golden Knights playoff games on Friday and Sunday. He said no decision has been made yet.
Issues on booking portal
While booking slots have opened, some Quebecers are still receiving error messages despite being eligible to shift their appointments.
"We're aware of the error on the Clic Santé site," said Daniel Paré, the province's vaccination campaign director, at the news conference.
"These issues will be settled over the next days and weeks."
Paré said the issues are mostly due to a disparity in personal information or missing information when booking appointments for the first dose.
But starting today, Quebecers can use the site's "troubleshooting" option to make an appointment.