Quebec turns to private companies for COVID-19 vaccination blitz

Click to play video: 'Quebec hits the gas on COVID-19 vaccine rollout'
Quebec hits the gas on COVID-19 vaccine rollout
WATCH: Quebec is seeking businesses to join its vaccine rollout plan. Between 20 and 50 businesses are being asked to volunteer to help get the COVID-19 vaccine out in various communities. The businesses in question will have to commit to administering 15,000 shots, which can include employees and their families as well as surrounding neighborhoods. This as the province gives the green light for people 65 and over to book their vaccination appointments. Global's Amanda Jelowicki has more. – Mar 19, 2021

Quebec is looking to accelerate its COVID-19 vaccination rollout with help from the private sector in the coming weeks, with the health minister likening the province-wide plan to war-time efforts.

Christian Dubé announced Friday that the government is inviting companies with adequate space and resources to register as inoculation hubs.

The plan is to take pressure off workers on the front lines of the pandemic while also vaccinating as many people as possible.

“Our goal is to support the health network,” he said, adding that it is time to put forth all available help.

The government is specifically looking for an additional 20 to 50 vaccination sites provided by private businesses. Companies will have to commit to vaccinating a total of 15,000 to 25,000 people from May to August.

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Each company that signs up will be able to vaccinate its employees and workers at nearby enterprises as well as families. The public will also be able to register for a shot at those sites.

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“We have an opportunity here this morning and over the next few weeks to end this war, this war that we are living through together,” Dubé said.

The program will begin when Quebec residents under the age of 60 become eligible to be vaccinated. Dubé said companies are asked to apply to be part of the rollout, adding that he plans to announce the vaccination hubs on April 5.

Under the plan, Quebec will have three kinds of facilities where people can be vaccinated: mass sites set up by the province, pharmacies in the Montreal area and private companies.

READ MORE: Parents of schoolchildren in parts of Montreal being moved to front of COVID-19 vaccination line

Daniel Paré, head of the province’s vaccination rollout, told reporters Friday that he is confident there are many employees in companies who have what it takes to vaccinate people.

“We’re talking about nurses, other health-care providers, and we as a health network will partner with these businesses to make sure they have the right training, right competency to ensure the vaccination that is going to be done at businesses will be the same quality and as safe as in the public sector,” he said.

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Quebec has given more than 870,000 doses to date and, as of Friday, vaccination registration is open to anyone who is 65 and older.

The province has pledged to give a first shot to any adult who wants one by June 24.

Click to play video: 'Parents of schoolchildren in parts of Montreal being moved to front of COVID-19 vaccination line'
Parents of schoolchildren in parts of Montreal being moved to front of COVID-19 vaccination line

With files from The Canadian Press

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