Certain age groups in Quebec will no longer have to wait longer for their second dose of Moderna and Pfizer. Some age groups will be allowed to reschedule their second shot beginning next week.
Those who will be allowed to book for their second dose include people with chronic conditions or on dialysis. Quebec is already rolling out people in their 80s to start rebooking for the second dose beginning on 7th June.
The younger populations will book for their second dose on a gradual basis. Quebec health officials say that Quebecers have to cancel their first appointment on the Clic Sante website for the second dose.
At a press conference on Thursday, Quebec health minister Christian Dube revealed that about 3 million doses could be rescheduled. The province has already reached its 75 percent target in administering the first dose three weeks ahead of the scheduled time.
Horacio Arruda, Quebec health director addressed the concerns of vaccine switching for the second dose. He told reporters that sticking to the first vaccine as the first dose is recommended.
“If you don’t want to have AstraZeneca as the second dose because you are afraid or you would like to have Pfizer, you can have it. But what we’re going to tell you is that your reaction to the vaccine may be going to be more symptoms, like in the first week after getting the second shot.”
Despite the progress in the vaccination, Montreal and Laval cities have the lowest vaccination rate in Quebec. Institut national de sante publique (INSPQ) data show that the lower-income neighborhoods in the north of Montreal are the most disadvantaged with a vaccination rate of 43.8 percent.
On Thursday, Quebec Premier Francois Legault noted how some communities are struggling and insisted that a campaign is needed to boost vaccination rates.
“I hope we get to 75 percent target and I understand that we have to do some education in some area. Some people are scared, for no reason, about the vaccine. So, we have to explain to them why they need to be vaccinated and we will do so.”