Quebec Premier Francois Legault said Tuesday there are no plans to bring back COVID-19 sanitary health measures in the fall, despite the climb in hospitalizations and that Quebecers should get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to help keep infection levels stable.
At the same time, Quebec health authorities announced they have opened up eligibility for the vaccine to children aged six months to four years old, with doses for children that age available at most vaccination centres.
The update comes one day after Quebec launched a massive booster vaccination campaign aimed at CHSLDs and long-term seniors’ care facilities. Legault said the time is right because the booster dose’s effectiveness tends to wane after a few months.
“The reason we could return to a normal life this summer is thanks to vaccination," he said. "This is a good time to launch a massive vaccination campaign."
The recommended time between vaccination and a first booster dose is three months or more, while the suggested time frame between each subsequent booster dose is five months or more.
"I'm counting on you," he insisted.
The premier encouraged Quebecers to get the booster vaccine – or the first shot for very young children – as a way to help support the province’s embattled health-care workers.
"It's important; they had a tough two years, so they need your help," he said. "Please get your new dose."
In addition, Legault and Dube said they would be sitting out further Public Health updates as a way of separating the government from health authorities during the run-up to the October 3 provincial election.
Despite the number of new cases rising, the province’s health-care network got some good news, with the revelation the number of Quebecers in hospital receiving treatment for COVID-19, including secondary infections has decreased by 29, for a total of 1,964, including 679 due to COVID-19 as the primary diagnosis.
Intensive-care admissions are down by five for 50 patients, including 29 specifically to be treated for COVID-19.
“If you had your last vaccine five months or more ago, you have to get a new one if you want to be protected," Legault said. "It's important that you get this new vaccine for three reasons — first, for yourself; second, for vulnerable people around you, and third, for health-care workers.”
He reiterated the importance of getting a booster dose, recalling past lockdowns and restrictive measures.
“The reason why we can have a slightly more normal life is because of the vaccine," Legault said.
Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase