COVID-19 in Quebec: what you need to know Wednesday
- Quebec reported 915 new cases on Wednesday and five deaths. One death has occurred in the past 24 hours, while the other four occurred earlier in April.
- Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 354,390 confirmed cases and 10,964 people have died.
- There are 588 people in the hospital (a decrease of six), including 152 in intensive care (a decrease of three).
- 55,723 doses of vaccine have been administered in the past 24 hours for a total of 3,365,575 since December 14.
Health Canada has approved the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents aged 12 to 15, and Quebec’s health minister says he expects approval from the immunization committee of the province will follow shortly.
The federal agency has offered parents worried about their unvaccinated children some hope today by allowing the Pfizer product for use in people as young as 12 years old.
After reviewing clinical trial data submitted by the New York-based company last month, regulators have determined that mRNA injection is safe to use in people aged 12 to 15, down from at the previous threshold of 16 years.
Pfizer is the first product to be approved for use in this younger age group. The other three products authorized in Canada – AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna – can only be used in people over 18, at this time.
Health Minister Christian Dubé said last week that vaccinating adolescents would be a priority and that they might be eligible for a vaccine before the school year returns.
Dubé tweeted On Wednesday morning, the Quebec immunization committee would soon make its own recommendation for the province.
WATCH | Health Canada approves Pfizer for young adolescents
Make vaccines more accessible
Public health officials are trying to find ways to make vaccination more accessible to Quebecers.
In Montreal, the board of health that oversees the Parc-Extension district, known as Park Ex, opened temporary walk-in clinics this week. The aim is to reduce the gap in vaccination rates.
According to recent figures, only 48% of those 55 and over have been vaccinated in Park Ex, one of the poorest and densest neighborhoods in the country, compared to 80% for the neighboring town of Mount Royal, one of the richest areas of the island.
But community workers there say they hope the gap narrows as they have seen renewed interest in immunization at Park Ex.
The province is also trying to make it easier for people to get vaccinated by opening drive-thru vaccination clinics. Health Minister Christian Dubé said the goal was to vaccinate the whole family at once in this way.
The first drive-through clinic is scheduled to open on May 17 at Montreal Trudeau International Airport. The airport clinic already makes appointments via Clic Santé.
As of Monday, May 10, certain restrictions will be lifted in Quebec City, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and other regions of the province, while others, such as Le Granit near Lac-Mégantic and Beauce-Etchemin, will see more than restrictions due to large outbreaks.
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What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
- New or worsened cough.
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Sudden loss of smell without a stuffy nose.
- Gastrointestinal problems (such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting).
- Sore throat, runny or stuffy nose.
- Generalized muscle pain.
- Loss of appetite.
If you think you have COVID-19, the government asks you to call 1-877-644-4545 to make an appointment at a testing clinic.
To book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine, you can go to the quebec.ca/covidvaccine online portal. You can also call 1-877-644-4545.
Reminders from the Quebec government to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Wear a mask or mask is mandatory in closed public spaces in the province.
- Stay at least two meters from other people as much as possible.
- Self-isolate for 14 days after returning from a stay abroad.
You can find information on COVID-19 in the province here and information on the situation in Montreal here.