Quebec is expanding its mass COVID-19 inoculation campaign to any person aged 70 and older in all areas across the province.
Lowering the minimum age for registration, which came into effect late Tuesday night, comes as the government aims to vaccinate as many seniors as possible.
Prior to that, vaccination was available to anyone 70 and up in the Montreal region, which has been hard hit by the novel coronavirus health crisis.
While the rollout has been mostly focused in Montreal, the province is looking to ramp up the pace in the coming weeks. Health Minister Christian Dubé also said Tuesday that the goal is to open registration for people 65 and older in that region this week.
Montreal public health authorities also announced Wednesday that they are providing more time slots for vaccinations.
“With the good news about the arrival of large quantities of vaccines, we can now step up the pace,” said Dr. Mylène Drouin, director of Montreal public health.
[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]
READ MORE: Quebec to expand vaccination to people 65 and up in Montreal area: health minister
Quebec has administered more than 590,000 doses since the vaccine became available in December. The first stage prioritized giving a first shot to residents in long-term care homes and seniors’ residences, which bore the brunt of the first wave of the pandemic.
The focus was also on vaccinating health-care workers on the front lines and getting the first dose to residents in remote regions.
In late February, the province announced it was going to start inoculating members of the general public — starting with seniors and other vulnerable groups.
Quebecers who are eligible for their first dose are asked to register online by visiting this province’s registration website. Booking an appointment is necessary.
Those who do not have access to the internet can, however, call 1-877-644-4545 to book their first dose. This option is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends.
— With files from The Canadian Press