As the immunization rollout expands and the province continues to deal with a third COVID-19 wave, Quebec’s health minister has penned a rare open letter to young adults acknowledging all they have given up — and urging them to get vaccinated.
Christian Dubé begins by saying that the past year “must have been very difficult” as shutdowns rocked the province.
“You have made remarkable sacrifices to protect the most vulnerable in society, and the hospital system that treats them,” he said in the letter published Tuesday.
“It was a huge blow to mental health.”
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Many students haven’t been physically back to CEGEPs or universities because of the pandemic, he adds. Dubé says a lot of adults have also lost their livelihoods as restaurants, hotels and other industries face sweeping closures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.
“I want to tell you that I can hear you and that I know it has not been easy,” he wrote.
“You might have felt like you weren’t a ‘priority’ and I can understand why. But myself, as a father of two young adults, I have never forgotten you.”
With vaccination opening up to all adults this week, the health minister is calling on young people to get their shots. So far, more than 50 per cent of the 30-34 age group have booked an appointment.
Young adults have a “crucial role” to play as the pandemic “approaches the finish line,” according to Dubé.
“We need you to surprise us, to get vaccinated in large numbers,” he wrote. “The vaccine will allow us to reduce spread.
“Even if you know you are less likely to get sick, you can protect others.”
The province is gradually reopening as vaccination gains steam and Dubé says that “we all can’t wait to get back to our normal lives” but that young people also need to be protected from the virus.
“Unlike the start of the pandemic, young people stay in hospital longer when COVID-19 strikes them, especially because of the variants.”
Quebec will drop the age limit for vaccination appointments to 25 as of Wednesday. The rollout will be open to all adults by the end of the week.
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