COVID-19 live updates: Quebec expands walk-in clinics for second Pfizer doses after Clic Santé glitches

COVID-19 live updates: Quebec expands walk-in clinics for second Pfizer doses after Clic Santé glitches
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With doses finally on the way, Quebec to speed up 2nd Moderna shots. Ottawa to end hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers in early July.

Author of the article:

Andy Riga

Publishing date:

Jun 09, 2021  •  5 hours ago  •  13 minute read  •  5 Comments

A Quebec COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
A Quebec COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Photo by Allen McInnis /Montreal Gazette

Updated throughout the day on Wednesday, June 9. Questions/comments: [email protected]


Top updates

  • Clearing up confusion over AstraZeneca recipients who want a different vaccine for their second shot
  • Quebec expands walk-in clinics for second Pfizer doses after Clic Santé glitches
  • Among premiers, Legault has highest approval rating, poll finds
  • With doses finally on the way, Quebec to speed up 2nd Moderna shots
  • Ottawa plans to end hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated people in early July
  • Canada to receive 7M Moderna doses in June
  • Quebec reports 178 cases, 8 deaths as hospitalizations fall again
  • As of today, Quebecers 70+ are eligible to advance their second Pfizer vaccine dose
  • Canadian and U.S. business groups urge governments to reopen border to the fully vaccinated
  • Union warns letting students take off masks risks teachers’ safety
  • Wearing COVID masks may have changed Quebecers’ opinions on religious symbols ban: Trudeau
  • Coming soon: COVID Conspiracies podcast
  • A guide to COVID-19 vaccinations in Quebec
  • Sign up for our free nightly coronavirus newsletter

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5:30 p.m.

Thanks for reading

I’ll be back tomorrow with another live blog.

In the meantime, you can follow all our coverage via the coronavirus page.

My previous COVID-19 live blogs are available here.


5:20 p.m.

Clearing up confusion over AstraZeneca recipients who want a different vaccine for their second shot

I have received emails from several readers who received AstraZeneca for their first dose but would rather get Pfizer or Moderna for their second.

There has been some confusion over if and when that will be possible.

I asked the Health Department for clarification and here’s what they told me this afternoon:

“At this time, it is not possible to advance your appointment if you want to get a different vaccine as the second dose.

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“Interchangeability of vaccines will be possible at the end of the 16-week period. Thus, a person who has received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine must wait for their appointment set at 16 weeks after the first dose, if they wish to obtain the Pfizer vaccine as the second dose.”

If you want to receive AstraZeneca for Dose 2, you can do so after eight weeks, the department noted.

“People wishing to receive their second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine can visit a walk-in clinic. Most facilities have AstraZeneca vaccines. These people can also advance their appointment on Clic Santé. Some slots have been opened recently.”

The AstraZeneca vaccine has been linked to a rare but potentially fatal blood clot disorder. Both the Quebec and federal vaccination committees have said opting for Pfizer or Moderna as a second dose would be safe and effective.

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5 p.m.

Quebec expands walk-in clinics for second Pfizer doses after Clic Santé glitches

Many Quebecers trying to advance second Pfizer doses have been struggling for three days with the Clic Santé website.

This afternoon, the Health Department acknowledged the problems and offered some solutions

“Some people had some difficulties with Clic Santé and were unable to advance their appointment,” the department said in a press release. “This is most likely due to a mismatch in personal information or missing information when making the first dose appointment. Time slots are available in sufficient quantity for everyone.”

The department added: “People who continue to have difficulty can ask a loved one for help. They can also go, if they wish, to a walk-in clinic to correct this information or to receive the second dose, if the vaccine received in the first dose is available. The walk-in clinic service offer will also be expanded to make this type of clinic accessible in each region. The other option is to keep your original date.”

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In a tweet this afternoon, Health Minister Christian Dubé said more than 200,000 people have advanced their appointments since the option was made available on Monday.

“As we have done from the start, we’re following what’s happening in the field and adjusting when necessary,” Dubé said.


3:45 p.m.

Long delays at Décarie Square vaccination clinic, city councillor says

Fiasco at Decarie Square. 300 elderly standing I. Line. They just called 110 pm appointments. It’s 240 pm. #polmtlt

— Marvin Rotrand (@MarvinRotrand) June 9, 2021

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3:30 p.m.

Clic Santé experiencing ‘technical problems’ as people try to advance second doses, Chaudière-Appalaches health centre says

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3:15 p.m.

U.S. to donate 500M Pfizer doses to lower-income countries

From the Reuters news agency:

President Joe Biden’s administration intends to buy 500 million doses of Pfizer Inc.’s coronavirus vaccine to share internationally, as the U.S. turns its attention to combating the pandemic globally, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The government will buy about 200 million doses this year to distribute through the World Health Organization-backed Covax program and about 300 million doses in the first half of next year, the person said.

The vaccines will go to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union, the person said. Biden will announce the plan Thursday in remarks ahead of the Group of Seven summit in the U.K.

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3 p.m.

Among premiers, Legault has highest approval rating, poll finds

Among provincial premiers, François Legault has the highest approval, an online poll conducted this month by the Angus Reid Institute suggests.

Sixty-six per cent of Quebec voters approve of the Quebec premier’s performance. That’s up four percentage points since the spring and his second-highest rating since he became premier in 2018.

The main strength of Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec government is its handling of the pandemic and economic issues. In each case, it registers among the highest levels of satisfaction in the country, Angus Reid said.


2:10 p.m.

With doses finally on the way, Quebec to speed up 2nd Moderna shots

After weeks of uncertainty, the federal government today announced that seven million Moderna vaccine doses will arrive in Canada this month, with the first shipment expected next week.

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Many Quebecers are awaiting second doses of Moderna and have been unable to advance their appointments.

“Thanks to this announcement, we will be able to quickly advance second doses for those who received Moderna,” Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said via Twitter this afternoon.

“We are awaiting details from the federal government on the number of doses (Quebec will receive).”

Once the province has confirmation, it will let Moderna recipients know when they can advance their second doses, Dubé added.

Across Canada, just over four million people have received Moderna as a first dose, federal statistics show.

Grâce à cette annonce, nous pourrons devancer rapidement les 2e doses de ceux qui ont reçu Moderna.

Nous attendons les détails du fédéral pour le nbre de doses. Dès que nous aurons les confirmations, nous donnerons les indications pour devancer les rdv de ceux qui le désirent. https://t.co/7QKOoto4v1

— Christian Dubé (@cdube_sante) June 9, 2021

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2 p.m.

Vaccine lottery: Manitobans eligible for cash, scholarships if they get a COVID shot

From The Canadian Press:

The Manitoba government is offering cash prizes of $100,000 and $25,000 scholarships in an effort to persuade more people to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Anyone who has or will receive a shot will be automatically entered into two lottery draws this summer. Each draw will have seven cash winners — three in Winnipeg and one in each of the four other health regions — and 10 scholarship winners. The scholarships will be reserved for youth between 12 and 17 years old.

“I’m not a big fan of gambling and that’s why I think this draw makes such good sense,” Premier Brian Pallister said. “Because you’re gambling with COVID if you’re not getting a vaccination.”

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Vaccine uptake in Manitoba has been steady — two-thirds of people 12 and older have received at least one dose. But there are some spots where the rate is much lower, including the core area of Winnipeg and some rural regions south of the capital.

Health officials have said that while some people are hesitant about getting a vaccine, others may have barriers in terms of mobility or by being in marginalized groups.

Crown-owned Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries will be in charge of the draws slated for early August and September. Work is underway on details, including how Manitobans who received a dose outside the province can ensure they qualify, the government said.


1:45 p.m.

Ottawa to end hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated people in early July; Canada to receive 7M Moderna doses in June

Canada is set to begin a “slow and cautious” phased reopening of its international borders, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Wednesday.

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“We are on a very good path,” Hajdu said.

“This is looking very hopeful across the country, and vaccination rates are rising tremendously. But we do want to be careful and cautious on these next steps to make sure that we are not putting that recovery in jeopardy.”

The federal government plans to begin the process of easing restrictions in early July when it hopes to allow some fully vaccinated travellers to return to Canada without the requirement to stay in government-authorized hotels, she told a press conference in Ottawa.

Hajdu said the easing of restrictions will be possible if Canadians continue to get vaccinated in large numbers.

The lifting of the hotel quarantine requirement would only apply to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, foreign students, new immigrants and essential workers, Hajdu said.

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And it would only affect people who received vaccines approved in Canada – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson.

Travellers would be able to avoid the hotel quarantine if they have been vaccinated 14 or more days before arrival and would still be required to have a negative pre-departure test result. Travellers would also have to undergo a test upon arrival, with “a suitable quarantine plan to wait for their Day One test result.”

Asked when fully vaccinated tourists and business people will be able to travel more freely, Hajdu did not answer directly.

She said it will depend on the epidemiological situation and vaccination progress.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said the relaxation of border measures will take vaccination benchmarks into account.

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By early July, she expects 75 per cent of Canadians to have received at least one dose – and at least 20 per cent to have been fully vaccinated.

Before restrictions can be eased for tourists and business travellers, close to 75 per cent of Canadians should have received two doses, Tam said.

How will people prove that they are fully vaccinated?

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc said the federal government is still working on that question and is in talks with premiers about creating a “type of vaccination passport.” It’s also working with other jurisdictions, particularly the European Union and the United States.

He said it’s possible that the “vaccination passport” will not be ready by early July. But it’s looking at other ways to ensure that travellers have adequate proof of vaccination.

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At the same federal briefing, Procurement Minister Anita Anand provided an update on the delivery of Moderna vaccine doses, which has been the subject of weeks of uncertainty.

Anand announced that Moderna will deliver seven million vaccine doses in June via two or three shipments, with the first batch expected next week. At least some of the shots will come from the company’s production lines in the United States.

Many Canadians are awaiting second doses of Moderna. Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé yesterday said he was awaiting word on shipments before allowing Quebecers to speed up their second Moderna shot.

Anand said Pfizer is scheduled to deliver 2.4 million doses of its vaccine every week in June. By the end of July, Canada is set to receive a minimum of 55 million doses of various vaccines, she added.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

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11:20 a.m.

Updated charts: Quebec cases, deaths


11:20 a.m.

Update on Quebec’s vaccination campaign


11:05 a.m.

Quebec reports 178 cases, 8 deaths as hospitalizations fall again

Quebec has recorded 178 new cases of COVID-19, the provincial government announced this morning.

Hospitalizations fell for the 16th consecutive day and are at a level last seen in late September.

The positivity rate – the percentage of tests coming back positive – has fallen below one per cent for the first time since August, Health Minister Christian Dubé said.

In addition, eight new deaths were reported, including one over the previous 24 hours.

Among the other deaths, six occurred between June 2 and 7, and one occurred before June 2.

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Some other key statistics from Quebec’s latest COVID-19 update, published this morning:

  • Montreal Island: 61 cases, 1 death.
  • 6 fewer people are in hospital. Total hospitalizations: 257.
  • The number of people in intensive care remains unchanged: 60.
  • 74,208 additional vaccine doses were administered.
  • 25,054 tests were conducted on Monday, the last day for which screening data is available.
  • Positivity rate: 0.8 per cent.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Quebec has reported 372,287 cases and 11,164 deaths linked to COVID-19. A total of 358,849 people who have contracted the disease have since recovered.


10:55 a.m.

Coroner’s inquiry into CHSLDs hears about confusion over mask protocol

Employees working in a Montreal long-term care centre last spring were regularly told to remove their masks in the weeks leading to a major COVID-19 outbreak, a coroner’s inquiry heard Wednesday morning.

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“If you put a mask on, they would tell you to take it off,” one auxiliary nurse testified. “Everyone was scared. They needed them to protect themselves and residents.”

Read our full story, by Jesse Feith.


10:10 a.m.

Federal ministers to provide update at noon

At noon, federal ministers are scheduled to hold a press conference at noon. They’re expected to announce a relaxing of international travel rules. (See item below, timestamped 9:45 a.m.)

I’ll provide live coverage and a video feed here.


9:50 a.m.

As of today, Quebecers 70+ are eligible to advance their second Pfizer vaccine dose

Quebec publishes timeline for advancing second-dose appointments. June 3, 2021.
Quebec publishes timeline for advancing second-dose appointments. June 3, 2021.

9:45 a.m.

Feds to lift 14-day quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers

The federal government is set to announce today that fully vaccinated Canadian travellers will no longer need to spend 14 days in quarantine upon arriving home, The Canadian Press reports.

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A federal source familiar with the policy says the change will go into effect in early July.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a policy decision that has yet to be made public.

It will apply to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have had a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Affected travellers will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Canada, and remain in isolation until the test comes back negative.

The government will also eliminate the need for fully vaccinated Canadian air travellers to spend three days quarantining in an authorized hotel upon arriving in the country.


9:30 a.m.

Canadian and U.S. business groups urge governments to reopen border to the fully vaccinated

The head of a group that represents the leaders of many of Canada’s biggest companies said the COVID-19 crisis has reached a “seminal moment,” as the federal government’s refusal to make it easier to travel to the U.S. amounts to taking economic growth “hostage.”

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Read our full story.


9:30 a.m.

Union warns letting students take off masks risks teachers’ safety

Some Quebec teachers fear the lifting of the obligation to wear a mask in class during a heat wave may increase health and safety risks.

Read our full story.


9:30 a.m.

Wearing COVID masks may have changed Quebecers’ opinions on religious symbols ban: Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday the habit of wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic might be changing Quebecers’ views on the province’s religious symbols ban.

Read our full story.


9:20 a.m.

Coming soon: COVID Conspiracies podcast

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned Canada upside-down for over a year. People are locked down, businesses are closed, and everybody’s looking for somebody to blame. But amid all the chaos, misinformation has flourished. Conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have taken to the internet to spread false information about vaccines, lockdowns, and the virus itself.

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In a six-part series that will be launched June 14, Postmedia journalists from across the country will dive deep into why conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have flourished during the pandemic, how their false claims hurt us, and what we can do about it. Hosted by Monique Beaudin of the Montreal Gazette.

You can listen to a preview and subscribe now on Apple Podcasts. It will also be available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and other podcast sites.


9:15 a.m.

A guide to COVID-19 vaccinations in Quebec

Local health authorities have set up mass vaccination sites across Montreal.

You can book appointments via the Clic Santé website or by phone at 1-877-644-4545.

Here are the nuts and bolts of getting vaccinated, by Katherine Wilton. Her guide includes the age groups targeted, how to book appointments, and addresses of vaccination centres.

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Two private sites can also help you book appointments:

  • Vaccélérateur, an automated service that scans last-minute availabilities posted by Quebec’s Clic Santé vaccination site, alerts followers on Twitter as soon as appointments come up.
  • Vaxstat was created to help Quebecers find a nearby available slot.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

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9:15 a.m.

Here are the current pandemic restrictions in Montreal and Quebec

We are regularly updating our list of what services are open, closed or modified in Montreal and Quebec, including information on the curfew and other lockdown measures.

You can read it here.


9:15 a.m.

Here’s where Montrealers can get tested today

Montrealers can be screened at test centres across the island.

You can check screening clinic wait times here.


8:45 a.m.

The situation across Canada

Here’s the rate of case growth per 100,000 people over the past seven days, via the federal government’s latest epidemiology update.


8:30 a.m.

Sign up for our free nightly coronavirus newsletter

Stay informed with our daily email newsletter focused on local coronavirus coverage and other essential news, delivered directly to your email inbox by 7 p.m. on weekdays.

You can sign up here.


[email protected]

Read my previous live blogs here.


More On This Topic

  1. The Burgundy Lion's terrasse was full at 8 a.m. on Notre-Dame St. in Montreal on Friday May 28, 2021, the day restaurant terrasses were allowed to reopen. Beatrice Bernard-Poulin, left, captured the moment with her friend Chloe El-Sayegh.

    June 8: Bar terrasses can reopen across Quebec on Friday

  2. A healthcare worker administers the COVID-19 vaccination to Akm Huba, 75, at a clinic inside the Bill Durnan Arena in Montreal on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

    June 7: Confusion, glitches mar first day as Quebecers begin speeding up second doses

  3. Two women finish their food on the terrasse of Le Pontiac as restaurants started reopening outdoor dining in Montreal on May 28. Restaurants have been closed for seating since October 2020, although many offered takeout and delivery. The re-opening of terrasses marked the beginning of the deconfinement plan, with restaurants set to open for indoor seating on June 7.

    June 4: Montreal goes orange Monday, allowing indoor dining for first time in eight months

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