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Young children in Quebec eligible for COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday


Young children in Quebec will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination next week, the province announced Thursday.

Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau said Quebecers between six months and four years old will be able to receive Moderna’s Spikevax mRNA COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday.

Speaking at a COVID-19 press conference Thursday, he said there are 70,000 doses available for Quebec’s youngest residents.

The vaccine was authorized by Health Canada last week.

Boileau was joined by Dr. Nicholas Brousseau, public health specialist at the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) and secretary of the Quebec Immunization Committee.

Brousseau said parents should feel confident giving their young children the shot.

“The dose is lower, so it has a very good safety profile,” he explained.

He urged parents to book their appointments as quickly as possible, underscoring the fact that infants and toddlers are more susceptible to COVID-19 complications than older kids — although he acknowledged that these complications are relatively rare.

“I think that parents will naturally [make] the best decision to protect their children,” he said.

“They will understand that the advantages are higher than the disadvantages.”

The shots will be available through vaccination centres and CLSCs.


As Quebec battles its seventh wave of the pandemic, fueled by the Omicron subvariant BA.5, Boileau said the rate is expected to reach a “plateau” in the future.

This doesn’t mean that case numbers are lowering, he clarified, but they’re predicted to stabilize soon — although he couldn’t specify exactly when.

“We know the next few days will confirm whether this plateau is going to happen,” he said.

Boileau noted that while there are many people in hospital with COVID-19 — 2,110 as of Thursday — not everyone was admitted because of the virus itself.

On Thursday, the province reported 20 new COVID-19 deaths and 53 more hospitalizations.

There are currently 7,349 healthcare workers absent for reasons related to COVID-19.


There are no plans to reinstate COVID-19 public health measures, said Boileau.

Although the BA.5 variant is highly contagious and is dominating in Quebec and elsewhere in the world, its symptoms appear to be no more severe than previous iterations of Omicron.

“We live in a new world” when it comes to COVID-19 in which health measures are largely left up to the individual, he said.

However, he recommended all Quebecers remain vigilant when it comes to hand washing, social distancing, and, most importantly, vaccinations, including booster shots.

“If it’s been five, six months since you were vaccinated, go get vaccinated. It’s time,” he said.

Although masks in public are no longer mandated, they are still encouraged in some cases because they are “a tool that’s very useful,” especially when it comes to seniors or those who are immunocompromised, he said.

The public was reminded on Thursday that the virus is contagious for up to 10 days after infection.

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