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Pop-up clinics, phone line launched to reach Quebec’s unvaccinated

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Quebec will launch pop-up clinics and a phone line to reach unvaccinated citizens in an effort to increase first vaccinations in regions where rates are lowest.

Junior health minister Lionel Carmant made the announcement on Monday.

“We want to go meet people in the field. We want to explain the pros of vaccination by using a positive approach,” said Carmant.

Carmant said a phone line will soon be up to answer concerns about the vaccine for those who are hesitant.

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Beginning Thursday, a pop-up clinic will open at the CLSC Sainte-Catherine in Montreal’s downtown core.

“Over the next few weeks other clinics will open up,” said Carmant.

In Quebec, about eight per cent of the population has not received a first dose of vaccine.

Carmant said it is not only anti-vaxxers that have not received a dose, and that marginalized and vulnerable populations in addition to those who are afraid of getting a dose are among the unvaccinated.

“Several actions have been undertaken over the past few months to reach these populations, but I believe that it’s necessary to do more,” he said.

The new plan will work in cooperation with McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine. Med students will help identify neighbourhoods in which to intervene.

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Quebec vaccination campaign director Daniel Pare said the future strategy will include buses and opening clinics in regions where vaccination rates are low.

“We’re really going towards the population and that’s what we’ll do,” he said. 

Carmant said teams will not be going door-to-door, but will work with community organizations and local leaders.

“The community organizations are fundamental partners in this campaign,” he said. 

The pop-up clinics will remain for one or two weeks in hopes that numbers will increase.

“Every dose given is going to be a little victory for me,” said Carmant.

Carmant said past pop-up clinics have worked and that they are to thank for the province going from around 1.2 million unvaccinated to 600,000.

“So now we want to use the same technique and intensify it, increase the visibility to have further success with this technique,” he said.

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