COVID-19: Quebec wants to offer teens first vaccination dose by end of June

Quebec has officially unveiled the details of its plan to vaccinate children aged 12 to 17 as the province’s COVID-19 immunization rollout ramps up.

Health Minister Christian Dubé outlined during a news conference Thursday how and when shots will be administered starting later this month, calling the initiative “good news” in the fight against the pandemic.

Children can start getting vaccinated as early as this Friday at Montreal’s two drive-thru vaccination sites at the city’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve racetrack and the Trudeau International Airport

Appointments can be made starting May 25 at mass inoculation sites across Quebec for children in that age group. Doses will also offered in school settings starting during the weeks of June 7 and June 14.

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The goal is to offer a first dose to teenagers by the end of June and hopefully give the booster before students return to class in the fall.

“They will be given largely before the beginning of the next school year,” he said.

Earlier this month, the province announced its intention to vaccinate students after Health Canada authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children 12 and up. Dubé said Quebec is also following the recommendations of its own immunization committee and public health department.

As vaccination opens to children, Dubé also urged eligible adults who haven’t already done so to book their appointments right away.

“If we want a good summer, we need the co-operation of everyone,” he said.

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Danielle McCann, the minister in charge of higher education, said vaccination will help children and young adults get back to a sense of normalcy for the next academic year. The offering is there, she added, encouraging students to get their shots.

“It’s all together that we will get out of this pandemic,” she said.

When asked about prom and other end-of-year celebrations, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge said talks are underway.

“We’re having discussions with public health and we’ll give you information in the coming days.”


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