Public Health is preparing for a vaccine in January or February

Public Health teams have received indications that a vaccine against COVID-19 could arrive in Quebec at the start of 2021. However, this does not mean that health measures are about to fall, says Horacio Arruda.

Asked about the cruising speed of the design of remedies against COVID-19, the national director of public health was rather optimistic, Thursday, during a press briefing in Quebec.

“We may have a vaccine, even in Quebec and Canada, at the start of winter. January, February next, ”he said.

In Canada, the federal government is responsible for concluding agreements with the pharmaceutical companies currently working on vaccine design. So far, Ottawa has signed seven agreements with designers at different stages of their trials on humans.

In the event of success, the federal government must proceed in the same way as it did with certain tests: by proportionally separating the doses between the different provinces.


The projections received by Public Health evoke lengths in the supply of doses to Quebec, says Dr. Arruda. Words that echo those of the National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ), which affirmed in a note last week that “it is very possible that the first shipments to Canada will start slowly and gradually accelerate”.

As he had said during the summer, the national director of public health expects to have to make choices in the administration of the first vaccines.

“We will have to determine those for which it will be safer, those for which it will be more efficient. And it is clear that, as we have done in the past with other programs, health care workers and people at high risk are going to get a vaccine first, ”he said.

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Until 2022?

The “American Dr Arruda”, Anthony Fauci, on Wednesday made his predictions about the future that Americans will have to consider while waiting for the virus to disappear. Despite the imminent arrival of vaccines, “a semblance of normality” could not come until 2022, he said.

In Quebec, Horacio Arruda agrees that “barrier measures”, ie masks and distancing, could become daily habits.

“We shouldn’t say to ourselves that everything will be over in June next year,” he said.

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