Quebec is not immune to a fourth wave if vaccination coverage of the entire population is insufficient, Horacio Arruda said on Tuesday. The director of national health confirmed the importance of receiving two doses of the vaccine.
“We are relatively few, but that could change with the increase in the number of contacts and the start of the school year in August,” Horatio Arruda said at a press conference.
The possible emergence of new variants is at the forefront of Quebec’s attention. “Get vaccinated [avec les] two doses. One is not enough; even if it doesn’t circulate, it could come back, ”said the national director of public health, referring to the coronavirus.
“But one thing is for sure: vaccination is a solution,” for his part, confirmed the Minister of Health, Christian Dube.
“Vaccines as we know them […] remain very effective when used in two doses against the Delta variant, ”explains Benoit Barbeau, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) and virologist, in an interview.
In spite of everything, the expert believes that the fourth wave will “certainly” take place.
“As the face-to-face classes approach and the majority of Quebec’s population returns to work, people will have more contacts. The measures may not be as restrictive as they are now, ”said the virologist.
“It will be more of a wave,” said Marie-France Reynaud, professor emeritus of social and preventive medicine at the University of Montreal’s School of Public Health (ESPUM). However, she believes that adequate vaccination will reduce the further increase in cases.
“People are in a hurry to get the second dose. What can happen in the fall is very encouraging. [Mais] this does not mean that we could not have a case, ”says Mme Reino.
COVID-19 is also losing ground in Quebec. From Monday, the regions of Lower Saint Laurent, Saguenay – Lac Saint Jean, Maurice and Center du Quebec will go to the green alert level.
Quebec does not rule out the announcement of other relaxations during the summer.
“There will be some changes in color levels, especially [aux paliers] yellow and green, which will be announced taking into account the epidemiology, ”said Horatio Arruda.
Implementation of the “blue tier” is also being considered in autumn.
Difficulties with Clic Santé
Quebec also announced on Tuesday that the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines are again available in a second dose by appointment for eligible age groups.
People who have received their first dose of AstraZeneca and wish to receive another vaccine can request it locally. In particular, it is the Moderna surplus that makes it possible to offer an alternative solution to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
In fact, Quebec expects to receive 1.6 million doses of Moderna over the next two weeks, up 500,000 more than originally planned.
On Tuesday, many people had difficulty trying to pre-schedule a second injection on the Clic Santé platform.
Quebec residents are encouraged to return frequently to the site to see if any slots are free. The situation should be corrected in the coming days, says Daniel Pare, director of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Quebec.
Those who wish to schedule a second dose well in advance will be offered a time slot at the location where they received their first injection. However, if you wish, you can visit the vaccination center, where the vaccine obtained initially is offered.
A portal will be available from Wednesday where vaccinated people can upload their proof of vaccination. Those who experience difficulties due to errors in entering their personal information into a computer system will have to contact a vaccination clinic to correct them.
“At this point, you will be able to receive a second dose, unless otherwise recommended,” said Christian Dube.
Quebec continues to introduce vaccines at a good pace. To date, 5.8 million Quebec residents have received at least one dose, or 68.2% of the population aged 12 and over. Of this number 1,020,835 received two, or 11.9%.
The virus spread across the province continues to flatten. Public health reported 105 new cases of COVID-19 in Quebec on Tuesday, 18 fewer than the day before.
The daily seven-day average is now 158. This represents a 30% decline over the week.
Four additional deaths were also reported on Tuesday. The average remained stable at three virus-related deaths per day.
The burden of the health network also continues to decrease. The Ministry of Health and Human Services registered five fewer hospitalizations than on Monday, with a total of 209 people in hospitals treated for COVID-19.
In almost 50% of people, the second infection is asymptomatic.
According to estimated figures from the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec, there are 1,522 people who have been infected with COVID-19 twice, 90 days apart. Of these, 48% had no symptoms on the second infection. In addition, 778 people have been infected with the virus twice in a shorter period of time, ranging from 60 to 89 days. Thus, the estimated re-infection rate is between 0.3% and 1.7%.