Quebec is revamping its vaccine appointment system to allow people to pick — or avoid — the AstraZeneca vaccine, hoping to use up a new windfall of doses while avoiding last-minute refusals.
“It’ll be clearly indicated that at this time and in this place, it’ll be AstraZeneca,” said Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé at a press conference.
Today, 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are expected to arrive in Canada from the U.S., which made a huge volume of the vaccine available to Canada and Mexico. The U.S. hasn’t yet approved use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
That particular vaccine, however, faced a new blow to its image on Monday when a Canadian federal advisory committee recommended suspending its use for those under 55 due to a risk of blood clots.
There had previously been worries about its safety for the elderly, but the same committee said earlier this month that those concerns are unwarranted.
Quebec authorities echoed that, with Premier François Legault saying it was completely safe for those over 55. Dubé also said that as someone who got the AstraZeneca vaccine two weeks ago, he’s had no symptoms.
However, the province has followed recommendations and suspended its use for younger people, so all the new doses must be used by older people for the time being.
The key is to get their consent in advance, said Dubé.
“We’re going to get things organized so that places of vaccination, and vaccination schedules, [have it] clearly indicated that [those doses] are from the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said.
He seemed to suggest that there will be an incentive to pick those doses, however, since it may speed up a person’s vaccination date by weeks.
How to make an appointment to get vaccinated against COVID-19
2. Scroll down and click Make an appointment to get vaccinated. You will be redirected to the Clic Santé platform.
10. Complete your registration by answering all the questions. Answer by clicking Yes or No. Note that depending on your answers, you may not be able to make an appointment, for example, if you are not in the eligible age group.
15. Fill out the registration form. Information fields marked with an asterisk are mandatory and must be completed in order to continue making an appointment. Other information fields are optional.