6 COVID-19 vaccination sites to open in the Outaouais
Public health authority says up to 6,000 doses can be administered daily, depending on supply
Western Quebec's public health authority says it will be ready to open six COVID-19 vaccination sites by Feb. 22, but it all depends on when the federal government delivers more doses.
The Centre intégré de Santé et Services sociaux de l'Outaouais (CISSSO) said it has prepared three main sites for high-volume vaccine delivery that will operate seven days a week at the following locations:
- Palais des Congrès de Gatineau.
- Buckingham Community Centre.
- Wakefield Community Centre.
Three additional sites will open five days a week, though CISSSO didn't specify which days.
- Whissell Sports Complex in St-André-Avellin, Que.
- Centre Multifunctionnel de Maniwaki.
- Campbell's Bay Recreational Centre.
Immunization will be by appointment only, with booking information expected in the coming days. Hours of operation will depend on vaccine supply and the section of the population targeted by each stage of the campaign, CISSSO said.
Dr. Brigitte Pinard, interim director of public health for CISSSO, said when new vaccine shipments arrive, the priority will still be vulnerable populations.
"We know we have been delayed by a few weeks, and we're very eager to catch up with our plan to vaccinate our most vulnerable populations to start with," Pinard said.
She said mobile immunization teams will make retirement homes their first priority. When supply catches up, the public clinics will open first to people 80 and older, then to people 70 and older and others identified by Quebec's vaccine program.
Pinard cautioned against complacency, given the recent loosening of pandemic restrictions on businesses and relatively low current case numbers in the Outaouais.
"If collectively we make the efforts, we will likely gain time to be able to vaccinate our most vulnerable population ... and delay as much as possible the introduction and transmission of new variants in our territory," she said.
Up to 6,000 doses a day
Nency Héroux, director of CISSSO's vaccine program, said the public sites will open when there's supply to complete immunizations in retirement homes and remote communities, which are ahead of the general public on Quebec's vaccination priority list.
She said there are still about 2,500 residents in the region's priority queue, so the public vaccination sites likely won't open until March.
She said once all six sites are up and running, between 3,000 and 6,000 doses can be administered daily, depending on supply.