Quebecers who received a first dose of the Moderna or the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are now able to move up their booster shots.
Health Minister Christian Dubé made the announcement Tuesday, saying those aged 50 and up can now reschedule their appointments on the government’s Clic-Santé website.
Dubé said confirmed shipments of AstraZeneca and Moderna means the previously announced shortened interval between doses can go ahead as planned. Up until now, only people who had received the Pfizer vaccine were able to reschedule their appointments because of the limited supplies of the other two vaccines.
“We’re talking about 500,000 more doses than previously planned from Moderna, which is giving us a lot of flexibility,” he said.
Younger age groups will be added in the coming days as they become eligible.
Quebec had halved the wait time from 16 to eight weeks between doses of three vaccines available in the province.
Dubé also specified that those who received a first dose of AstraZeneca could chose to change to an mRNA-type vaccine for their second dose.
“Those who want to change, you can now have the flexibility for your second dose to replace AstraZeneca with Moderna or Pfizer,” he said.
Dubé specified, however, that vaccination centres would offer either Pfizer or Moderna, but not both.
“They are equivalent in protection,” he said.
The health minister noted that so far, Quebec has administered close to seven million doses, including one million second doses representing 14 per cent of the population.
Dubé heralded the efforts of young people aged between 12 and 17, of whom 71 per cent have received at least one shot or booked an appointment.
“It largely surpasses the 18 to 39 category,” he said, adding 170,000 people still need to be vaccinated in that age bracket to reach the government’s 75 per cent benchmark.
“If you know someone in your entourage that is not vaccinated, we all have a collective duty to encourage them to get vaccinated,” he said. “In fact, I would summarize, vaccination is an individual effort that we must make for a collective result.”