Quebec expands COVID-19 vaccination to those with chronic illnesses, disabilities

Quebec is expanding its COVID-19 vaccination rollout to include more people with chronic illnesses and those with intellectual and physical disabilities, the province’s health minister said Thursday.

Christian Dubé made the announcement in the company of Dr. Horacio Arruda, director of Quebec public health, and Daniel Paré, head of the inoculation campaign.

“We can now, with the recommendation of public health, expand to other vulnerable groups,” he said.

Under the plan, the province is widening access to include more people under the age of 60 with chronic illnesses starting Friday. Prior to that, only people who were considered very high risk were able to receive a first dose.

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Quebecers who have intellectual or physical disabilities can also register for this first shot starting April 28. Caregivers of eligible people are also able to book a vaccine appointment.

The priority is to vaccinate those who are vulnerable before opening up inoculation to all adults, Dubé added.

“We’re talking about weeks,” he said, adding that vaccination sites are ready for a ramped-up rollout but need more vaccines.

The latest change comes after the province dropped the minimum age requirement for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from 55 to 45 this week.

Quebec’s goal is to give a first jab to any adult who wants one by June 24. The province has given more than 2.5 million doses to date.

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With files from the Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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