Quebec’s first drive-through COVID-19 vaccination site will soon open in the parking lot of Montreal’s Trudeau airport.
The site is expected to start operating May 17 and should be able to vaccinate up to 4,000 people a day. Appointments will be necessary.
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé detailed the project during a news conference from the airport Tuesday morning.
“The appetite for appointments is there, not only in Montreal but in Quebec at large,” Dubé said. “People want to be vaccinated, and what we’re offering today is an additional service to them.”
The site will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week and people will not need to leave their cars to receive their shot. Including wait times, the process should take under 30 minutes, Dubé said.
The government hopes the initiative will make it easier for parents with young children to get their shot, as they could bring their children with them in the car. It’s also seen as an easier way for people with mobility issues to get vaccinated.
Lynne McVey, executive director of the West Island CIUSSS, said the health authority has been working on finding ways of vaccinating the most people possible while using the smallest number of personnel.
The drive-through site is in line with that idea, she said, and the CIUSSS will share what it learns from the site with other health boards to help them develop their own.
Dubé said discussions about other potential drive-through vaccination sites have already started and could be announced soon.
Quebec has so far administered more than 3 million first doses and 109,000 second doses.
In the 55 to 59 age group, Quebec has reached its goal of vaccinating 75 per cent of the population. That’s not so for the Montreal region, however, where another 10,000 people in that age group still need their first dose to reach the target.
Quebec received more than 450,000 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses in the last couple of days and expects to receive more than two million over the month of May.
If the province can give 2 million people their first dose in May, Dubé said, it could start administering the second dose earlier than planned.
“I think it’s possible, but it’s in the hands of Quebecers. They need to be vaccinated in May,” Dubé said.
More than 160,000 people booked vaccination appointments on Monday, the first day appointments opened for all Quebecers at least 45 years old.
The minimum age will be lowered to 40 on Wednesday, 35 on Friday, 30 on May 10, 25 on May 12 and 18 on May 14.
This story will be updated.
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