Quebec is changing its vaccination rollout as the country’s supply of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccines is facing temporary delays over the next month.
Health Minister Christian Dubé announced the adjustments Tuesday, saying the province will now provide 225,000 doses by Feb. 8.
The initial plan was to give 250,000 vaccines by that date but the postponed arrival of the Pfizer vaccine has forced the government to adjust its campaign, according to the province’s health and social services ministry.
Last week, the federal government announced shipments of the Pfizer vaccine are being halved over the next four weeks while the company works on boosting its manufacturing capacity.
“Do we like those delays? The answer is no,” Dubé told reporters Tuesday.
The health minister insisted Quebec will “still deliver a good part of the plan” but that he hopes Pfizer will make up for the setback.
Quebec still plans on providing a first dose to all residents in long-term care homes (CHSLDs) — which were hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic’s first wave — by Jan. 25. So far, about 75 per cent of residents have been vaccinated.
It will also maintain its plan to provide 20,000 doses in remote areas.
However, the vaccine rollout in private seniors’ residences will change. The province says it plans to start inoculations in those centres by the week of Jan. 25
When it comes to vaccinating health-care workers, the province says it has lowered its target to giving 127,000 doses by Feb. 8.
Last week, Quebec announced it would administer the second dose of the vaccine within a maximum of three months for patients who have already received their first dose. Dubé said the goal is to vaccinate “as many vulnerable people as possible.”
— with files from Global News’ Rachel Gilmore and The Canadian Press
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