Free shuttles to facilitate access to vaccination in Montreal

Free shuttles to facilitate access to vaccination in Montreal

Delegate Minister of Health and Social Services, Lionel Carmant.

Quebec wants to facilitate access to vaccination, especially for Montrealers who have not yet received their first dose, with shuttles from the VAX-19 line that travel between vaccination clinics and four targeted neighborhoods in the East, West, North and Center-South of the island.

Representatives of the Government of Quebec, the CIUSSS, the City of Montreal and the Société des transports de Montréal ( STM), made the announcement on Friday morning in front of the CLSC de Saint-Léonard.

Along with Ville-Émard, LaSalle and Montréal-Nord, Saint-Léonard is one of the four neighborhoods targeted for this initiative. Indeed, according to the temporary director of vaccination and screening for COVID-19 at the CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, Caroline St-Denis, these sectors presented the highest positivity rates. high throughout each of the waves of COVID-19.

Currently, less than 75% of people in the territory of Saint-Léonard affected by the project have received a first dose, she said. This represents 10% less than the Montreal average and 20% less than the Quebec average. For the entire territory of the CIUSS de l’Est, the vaccination rate for one dose is 79%.

The four temporary bus routes of the Vax-19 line are free and wheelchair accessible. “The operation takes place within an hour and a half. We take people home and bring them back after vaccination. There will be someone to support him on the bus either for the mobility aspect or to answer their questions, ”said the Minister for Health and Social Services, Lionel Carmant.

The service is offered since February 9, and until February 19 only, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The first and last departures are at 9:30 a.m. and 8:05 p.m., respectively, on the four circuits. Schedules and details are available on the Santé Montréal website.

Join the unvaccinated

Minister Carmant explained that the initiative was primarily aimed at reaching unvaccinated people who would like to be. However, he has no data to this effect. 

According to him, even more than a year after the start of the vaccination campaign, many Montrealers are still not vaccinated because they are not informed or because they encounter certain “access barriers”.

“There are many people who have not had access to information, who do not listen to press briefings and who have language or literacy problems. They are the ones we want to come and get,” he said. 

These people will be recruited directly, whether by telephone, through community organizations or through operations. in HLMs, indicated Lionel Carmant. “We are really going to bring vaccination to people over the next few weeks,” he added. 

2nd 3rd doses too

People who have not yet received a 2nd or 3rd dose can also use the shuttles to travel to a clinic. “The focus is on the first dose, but we will never say no to a second or third dose. This is what we see, 25% of the doses we give in the sites that are open are first doses, “said Lionel Carmant.

Currently, 48% of Quebecers received three doses of the vaccine against COVID-19 and 85% of the population received two doses. 

Over the past 7 days, 251,587 people have been vaccinated, for a daily average of 35,941 people vaccinated. “There are 522,000 people left to pick up,” said Lionel Carmant. 

For the past month, vaccination centers have been almost empty in Montreal. Met on site by Radio-Canada this week, vaccinators even admitted to “twiddling their thumbs”. 

Faced with the sharp drop in clinic attendance, Quebec has also asked everyone vaccinating doctors to return to their regular activities. “In the context where the situation is currently stable and where a drop in vaccination is observed, vaccination managers will employ people from the “I contribute” platform to s 'ensure that all professionals, including doctors, are there for the resumption of activities,' reads the document sent by the Ministry of Health. 

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