Quebec won’t extend COVID-19 enhanced access to under-70s: Premier – National

Premier François Legault said Quebec has no plans to expand eligibility for a COVID-19 vaccine to young people, despite the rising number of cases, Premier François Legault said on Thursday. .

Legault was asked if his government intends to follow the lead of Ontario and Alberta, both of which announced that they will lower the qualifying age for third shots. The prime minister told a news conference in Quebec City that he is listening to the province’s public health officials, who have told him boosters are not necessary for people under 70.

“Right now, what public health is telling me is that people over 70 need a third dose, but for people under 70, two doses should be enough to cover them,” Legault said.

“If they change their mind, I will change the way we proceed, but for now, we say it’s only necessary for people over 70.”

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COVID-19: Quebec expands booster vaccinations to include people 70 years of age and older

Ontario announced Thursday that it will expand eligibility for a third dose to people age 50 and older, while Alberta said Wednesday it will gradually expand boosters to all adults. , starting with people 60 years of age and older. The focus on boosters comes amid concerns about the newly identified Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus and a sharp increase in the number of cases around the country.

Quebec reported 1,146 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and two more deaths from the new coronavirus. The Ministry of Health said that the number of hospitalizations related to COVID-19 has decreased by 12 cases compared to the previous day, a total of 227 cases, after 18 people were hospitalized and 30 people were discharged. Fifty-three people are in intensive care – an increase of one patient from the day before.

When asked on Thursday about the increase in COVID-19 cases, Legault instead pointed to hospitalizations, which have fallen “more than 10” in the previous 24 hours.

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Quebec COVID cases above 1,100 for 2nd day in a row

An independent health research institute that reported to the government on Thursday expected that the number of hospitalizations could increase in the coming weeks.

“While the actual number of cases has doubled in the past month, the number of hospitalizations is predicted to increase by 30 per cent,” the institute, known as INESSS, said in its report. It also noted that the number of people in intensive care remained relatively stable over the past month, despite an increase in the number of cases.

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Quebec confirms first case of COVID-19 variant Omicron

The institute found that the increase in cases occurred in all age groups but especially among those aged 12 to 17. They said about 35% of those admitted to the hospital were 70 years old. above.

Forecasts that don’t take into account possible behavioral changes in the coming weeks as the holiday season approaches or the possible impact of the Omicron variation, will be included “once estimates are reliable.” its transmissibility, severity and potential for vaccine avoidance will be known,” the report said. One variant case has so far been identified in the province.

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Ontario expands eligibility for 3rd COVID booster shots to people 50 and older

Meanwhile, health workers have injected 26,563 more doses of the vaccine in the past 24 hours, including about 14,000 of the first doses given to children between the ages of 5 and 11. The Ministry of Health said 108,337 children are aged between 5 and 11 years old. That age has been given a dose since the campaign began last year. week and there are 142,867 children waiting for appointments.

About 6,908 third doses have also been given in the previous 24 hours to people with Quebec disease age 70 and older who are eligible for boosters.

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