Coronavirus Canada Updates: Quebec ‘needs more vaccines’ as rollout slowly begins in seniors’ residences amid shipment delays

Covid-19: Cda's vaccine pace outstripping much of world but still lags on 2nd doses
Covid-19: Cda's vaccine pace outstripping much of world but still lags on 2nd doses

With a delay in shipments of Pfizer vaccines, Quebec is re-evaluating its COVID-19 vaccination rollout plan for private seniors’ residences (RPAs), which are part of the province’s next phase of priority inoculations.

A spokesperson for Health Minister Christian Dubé told Global News in a statement Monday that the province’s “director of immunization is working to review the schedule.” So far, about 9,000 out of 140,000 residents in those RPAs have been vaccinated.

“Due to the large reduction in Pfizer doses that we will receive over the next two weeks, we have had to review the vaccination schedule, particularly for RPAs,” the spokesperson wrote.

Quebec has prioritized inoculating residents in long-term care homes, which were particularly hard hit during the first wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic, as well as health-care workers on the front lines of the crisis. The campaign began in December.

Under the plan, people living in private seniors’ residences across the province are next in line to receive a vaccine.

Last week, the government announced changes to its vaccination campaign due to the postponement in shipments from Pfizer while the company works on boosting its manufacturing capacity. Canadian provinces have been preparing for the slowdown.

As a result, Quebec adjusted its targets to provide 225,000 doses by Feb. 8 instead of 250,000 but said it will maintain its plan to deliver booster shots within 90 days of the first injection.

On Monday, the spokesperson for Dubé said Quebec is prepared to administer more doses but it comes down to a question of supply.

“Let’s be realistic: our vaccination momentum will be slowed down this week,” she said. “We need more vaccines, Quebec is ready.”

To date, the province says 218,755 doses of vaccine had been administered as of Sunday, representing 2.56 per cent of the population that has been vaccinated.

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