The enthusiasm for the second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is not waning in Quebec. After fleeing quickly during the two days without an appointment held this weekend at L’Ancienne-Lorette, the vaccine caused a massive rush to ExpoCité on Monday, where the most determined showed up at the dawn.
• Read also – Deconfinement in Quebec: welcome to the orange zone
According to the testimonies collected by The newspaper, the first people presented themselves at the clinic of the Center de foires around 4:30 am Monday morning. Quickly, a long queue formed and between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. it stretched into the back parking lot of the huge building.
In fact, the wait was so great that it discouraged some, like Conrad Chabot, who returned home.
“I got back on board, it didn’t make sense,” says the man who finally came back around 10:30 am, a good decision. “I did well, it’s been five minutes and I’m on the verge of returning, it’s going a lot faster,” he rejoiced.
Happy despite the wait
Yet this is the appeal that the CIUSSS launched last week. There is no point in showing up at dawn, there will be enough vials for all the people targeted by this vaccination reserved for those who received a first dose before April 3.
But many wanted to make sure they got their hands on a dose. This is the case of Denise Sirois, who waited 2 hours Monday morning. “The line was long, but once we got there, we had to cool. We wanted to be sure of having it, ”says the lady.
The same goes for Alphonse Hallé and Laurette Latulippe, who arrived around 9 a.m. at the Center de foires and left 2 hours later. The couple had presented to L’Ancienne-Lorette on Saturday morning, but the two lovers had not been able to receive their vaccine.
“It was hell on Saturday morning, we couldn’t go home. By 7:15 a.m. it was already too late. We decided to come around 9 am this morning, and it was perfect, ”they say.
Despite this expectation, most people came out with what one guessed to be a big smile under the mask. With two doses, it is now “case settled” for them.
“What we wanted was to have the second dose as soon as possible, that’s what counted,” insisted Pauline Gaudreault, on leaving the vaccination center where she was able to anticipate her second dose by six weeks. “The wait a while ago is just a distant memory when you come out vaccinated.”
“In any case, the weather was not nice enough to go golfing,” added her husband Denis Valois, laughing.
This enthusiasm of the last few days shows that the bad reputation that the AstraZeneca vaccine could have had has not frightened the people of Quebec too much.
Monday morning, the people met by The newspaper claimed not to have hesitated before accepting their second dose with this vaccine, even if the government offered them the option of taking it with Pfizer or Moderna.
“We didn’t have any symptoms the first time, it had been good,” explains Pauline Gaudreault, who said she agreed with the maxim that “you don’t change a winning formula”.
The risk of greater side effects with a change of vaccine between the two doses also explained the decision of many. “We didn’t have any problems the first time around, things should be fine again,” said Marcel Pépin to himself.
AstraZeneca: a success in Quebec
The CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale had planned 560 doses in L’Ancienne-Lorette for the weekend and they went away quickly. At the rate things were going in the morning, the 6,000 doses scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at ExpoCité as well as at Laval University are very likely to suffer the same fate.
In total, 50,000 people received the AstraZeneca vaccine in the first dose in the Quebec City region. The CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale has opened the door, in recent days, to hold the same kind of day without an appointment for the second dose of those who received the vaccine after April 3.