Quebec is intensifying its COVID-19 vaccination efforts on Monday with 21 sites opening across the province in a bid to maximize inoculation for priority groups.
At the top of the list are residents of long-term care homes (CHSLD), as well as health-care workers in those facilities.
Personal caregivers of residents in nursing homes are also being given priority status, according to Marguerite Blais, the minister responsible for seniors and informal caregivers.
In a tweet on Monday, Blais said caregivers over the age of 70 are on an equal footing with health-care workers but some restrictions apply.
When the province first unveiled its vaccination plan, health officials said the main objective in drawing up a list of priority groups was “the prevention of serious illness and death.”
Five of the 21 sites are located in Montreal and include CHSLD Saint-Henri, Maimonides, CHSLD Jeanne Le Ber, CHSLD Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci and Ste. Anne’s Hospital. The remaining sites are spread out across 14 regions in Quebec.
The rollout comes as Quebec health officials reported more than 2,000 daily cases of the coronavirus for two consecutive days over the weekend, bringing the total caseload since the start of the pandemic to 176,985.
Authorities said Sunday that 719 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered on Saturday, for a total of 4,716 since the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was first administered in the province on Monday of last week.
The Quebec government says it plans to vaccinate 650,000 people by April 1, 2021, depending on the number of vaccine doses it receives.