Expansion of vaccination to new priority groups


 23 April 2021

The Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, provided an update on the vaccination campaign today, accompanied by the Director of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Quebec, Daniel Paré, and the National Director of Public Health, Dr. Horacio Arruda.

The operation continues to accelerate in Quebec, with the expansion of vaccination in the last few days to certain chronically ill individuals and essential workers in high-risk outbreak settings, as well as the offer of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to individuals aged 45 and over.

To date, affected individuals with chronic disease at very high risk of complications have been offered the vaccine in the hospital setting where they are being followed, or through a pharmacist. Increased shipments of vaccines over the next few weeks now allow for the expansion of vaccination to two additional groups before opening to the general population.

As a first step, people with chronic diseases who are under 60 years of age will be able to make an appointment at a vaccination center or pharmacy by visiting Québec.ca/vaccinCOVID as of April 23. This expansion will allow the vaccine to be offered to approximately 300,000 additional chronically ill people under the age of 60 in the coming weeks.

In addition, as of April 28, anyone with a motor, intellectual, speech or language, visual, auditory, or other sensory disability, or an autism spectrum disorder, will also be able to make an appointment on the Québec.ca/vaccinCOVID page. Once again, the vaccination can be done in a vaccination clinic or in a pharmacy. One caregiver per person on the autism spectrum may also register. This means that approximately 250,000 people, and as many caregivers, will potentially be able to obtain their first dose.

These two groups of people represent a total of 1 million people, including the 200,000 people announced last week who are being actively followed up in the hospital and whose vaccination has begun. That’s 800,000 new people added to the ongoing vaccination. Vaccination for the general population will begin at the end of May. Until then, the collaboration and solidarity of Quebecers are required to give priority to the most vulnerable people.


Note that based on prioritization, vaccination will next be opened to the general population. Details regarding this next step will be known shortly.

Special emergency measures extended until May 2


 20 April 2021

Quebec Premier François Legault announced today that in order to allow the situation to stabilize and to consolidate the efforts of the last few weeks, the emergency-special-measures in effect will be renewed until May 2 inclusively in the Outaouais, Chaudière-Appalaches regions and the territory of the Communauté métropolitaine de Québec

“In these three regions, there is a real risk that we will exceed the maximum capacity of our hospitals, especially for intensive care. That’s why we’re extending the measures in place. However, I can assure you that the first thing we will open in these areas when the contagion is controlled is the elementary schools. Until then, I ask everyone to be very careful. With the variants, no region is safe from an explosion of new cases,” the prime minister said.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine available to people 45 years and older starting tomorrow

It was also announced that AstraZeneca’s vaccine will be available to people 45 years of age and older starting tomorrow, April 21 with or without an appointment. It should be noted that the criterion for access is age, not year of birth. This decision follows the recommendation of the Quebec Immunization Committee, which considers that the benefits of vaccination for people aged 45 and over far outweigh the risks. People in this age group who have chronic diseases are at greater risk of complications from COVID-19 and are particularly encouraged to receive the vaccine. Several Canadian provinces have also announced that the age for obtaining this vaccine will be lowered.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine is already available, with or without an appointment, in several regions of Quebec. Relevant information on obtaining this vaccine can be found on the page Quebec.ca/vaccinCOVID

“The vaccine is our passport back to freedom, back to family and friends. Before we get to that point, we know what we have to do. We need to keep our distance, wear the mask, avoid gatherings. We need to get tested as soon as we have symptoms. And we have to get vaccinated as soon as it’s our turn. That’s how we’re going to have a great summer. I’m counting on you. ”

François Legault, Premier of Quebec

“The measures in place, but especially the efforts of the public, have helped slow down the third wave and the spread of variants in Quebec. However, the situation continues to be precarious in hospitals, and we must continue to do everything possible to slow down the virus and avoid a rapid rise in cases. We are in a position to open vaccination to more and more people, and this will gradually contribute to improving the situation in Quebec. Moreover, the expansion to even more vulnerable people in the coming days is excellent news. ”

Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Human Services


  • The decision to temporarily suspend the administration of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to people under 55 years of age, announced on March 29, had been taken as a precautionary measure, due to very rare cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia in European countries.
  • It is important that people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine seek medical attention promptly if they experience any of the following symptoms within 4 to 20 days of receiving the vaccine: shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, abdominal pain, severe or persistent headache, blurred vision, bruising or small blood spots. It should be noted that the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and developing complications is much higher than those associated with the vaccine.
  • All vaccines available in Quebec are safe and have been shown to be highly effective in reducing hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19. Vaccination should also contribute to maintaining health and social services activities and returning to normal life as soon as possible.

“The situation is fragile everywhere. We have two big months ahead of us. ”


 13 April 2021

Due to the rapid progression of the variants and the deteriorating situation in several Quebec hospitals, Quebec Premier François Legault announced today that the special emergency measures in effect will have to be extended until April 25 inclusive.

“The situation is serious and could get worse,” the Premier said at the outset. Not only is the rate of positivity increasing, but there is also a steady increase in hospitalizations, including the number of people in intensive care, which is very concerning. ”

The Quebec government is therefore announcing the extension of special emergency measures until April 25 inclusive for the Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches, and Outaouais regions. These measures are extended as of April 14 at 8:00 p.m. to the entire territory of the Chaudière-Appalaches and Outaouais regions. For the Capitale-Nationale region, only the territory of the Communauté métropolitaine de Québec remains affected by these measures. The North Shore region will also be affected by the orange level as of tomorrow at 8 pm. However, travel to this region remains prohibited.

“With the presence of variants, no region is safe,” said Legault. Quebecers of all ages must be extremely careful. “I repeat: the consequences of COVID are very serious and can be long-term. We’re talking about headaches, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of smell, difficulty concentrating,” the premier said.

“Unfortunately, the increases in cases in all age groups postpone the gradual return to normalcy that we all want. The situation is likely to be uncertain until Quebecers who want it receives the first dose and until the school year is over, on June 24. We will have to be very patient, we have two big months ahead of us. After that, it will be summer. We’re not giving up. ”

François Legault, Premier of Quebec

“In some regions, a worrying increase in hospitalizations and the number of people in intensive care has been observed over the past few days. We expected this following the rise in cases over the past few weeks, but it demonstrates the importance of continuing to limit contact to contain the spread of variants. Everyone is anxious to move on, but we must not relax our efforts yet. ”

Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services


The special emergency measures have for objective to slow down the transmission, in a targeted manner, in one or more sectors where a significant increase in cases is observed and to prevent hospitalizations and deaths. Special emergency measures are intended to last for a certain period of time but may be extended if no significant improvement is observed or if the situation continues to worsen.

Related links:

To learn more about the coronavirus and the full range of measures in place: Québec.ca/coronavirus.

You can also consult the map of alert levels by region.

“It is necessary that everyone becomes aware of the danger.”


 8 April 2021

Given the alarming situation in the Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches and Outaouais regions, Quebec Premier François Legault today announced the extension of special emergency measures until April 18 inclusive, for an additional week. “In these three regions, the virus is present everywhere, in all environments, and it affects all generations. There are probably people with the virus in your neighborhood. We absolutely have to reduce contact to protect your family and to protect our hospitals,” the premier said.

The special emergency measures have been extended in the Communauté métropolitaine de Québec, the city of Gatineau and the MRCs of Collines-de-l’Outaouais, Beauce-Sartigan, Bellechasse, Etchemins, La Nouvelle-Beauce and Robert-Cliche.

These exceptional measures were to be in effect until April 12. However, given the marked increase in the number of new cases and outbreaks over the past few days, combined with an upward trend in hospitalizations, it is not feasible at this time to lift the measures in effect and risk the situation worsening even further.

Curfew in Montreal and Laval

In addition, starting Sunday, April 11, until further notice, the curfew will be brought forward to 8:00 p.m. in the Montreal and Laval areas. The curfew is currently in effect between 9:30 pm and 5 am. This decision was made based on the latest data in order to limit contact in these two health regions. “Despite the remarkable work of the Montreal and Laval Public Health Departments, the contagion is expected to accelerate. Because these regions are densely populated, with the presence of variants, the risk is higher, we must act preventively, “said the Prime Minister.

Travels in yellow and green zones prohibited

Finally, it is forbidden for a person whose main residence is located in the regions of red and orange alert levels to be in a yellow or green zone. These measures are intended to limit the spread of COVID-19 in regions or territories where the situation is currently under control.

“We need everyone to be aware of the danger. The virus is everywhere. The variant is more contagious, more dangerous. I ask you to reduce your contacts. This weekend, stay with your family bubble. That’s the only way to stop this third wave. ”

François Legault, Premier of Quebec

“We had hoped that the situation would improve, but we have to admit that with the variants, the epidemiological picture can change very quickly, and that is what is happening in some regions. We’re at a critical point in our immunization operation, including opening up to new priority groups, but the virus is still circulating. Everyone needs to follow the instructions to end the pandemic. ”

Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services


The objective of the special emergency measures is to slow down transmission, in a targeted manner, in one or more sectors, where a significant increase in cases is observed, and to prevent hospitalizations and deaths. These measures are intended to last for a period of time but may be extended if no significant improvement is observed or if the situation continues to deteriorate.

These measures include

  • curfew in effect between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. ;
  • online learning for primary and secondary school students (school closures);
  • closing of cinemas, theaters, and museums;
  • closing of restaurants (except for delivery and take-out);
  • closing of non-essential businesses;
  • the prohibition for businesses to sell non-essential products;
  • a limit of 25 people in places of worship;
  • outdoor sports or recreational activities permitted only with persons residing at the same address or by a group of 8 persons with a distance. Groups of 3 or more persons not residing at the same address are required to wear face coverings unless they remain seated with distancing. One person may be added to the group to provide supervision.
  • outdoor swimming pools in hotels remain closed, as well as spas;
  • Indoor sports or recreational activities are prohibited in all indoor public places, including workout rooms.

Also, as announced on April 6, several adjustments to the red and orange tiers are effective today.