Quebec marshalling veterinarians, midwives and others to give COVID-19 vaccines

Health Canada has approved the use of Gardasil 9 in men ages 27 to 45. (Jovanmandic / Istock.com)

Students and a variety of Quebec health professionals, such as chiropractors and veterinarians, will be able to help give COVID-19 and flu vaccines, provincial Health Minister Christian Dubé said Friday.

COVID-19 vaccines are expected to begin rolling out soon, and given the scale of the task, the government wants to "increase the pool of potential labour," it said in a release.

It's planning to add three categories of workers. First, there are students -- any student in a program that certifies them within the framework of the Quebec Immunization Program.

This includes medical students and residents, pharmacy students, midwifery or respiratory therapy students, or students who will become practical nurses.

The second category includes students in ambulance techniques and ambulance technicians, and people who hold a medical degree outside Canada.

Also in the group are dentists, veterinarians, podiatrists, medical technologists, and medical imaging technologists, who may already be administering injectable drugs.

The third category includes health professionals who will be able to help with the vaccination drive following intensive training.

This group includes acupuncturists, audiologists, chiropractors, hearing-aid acousticians, denturists, occupational therapists, dental hygienists, optometrists, prescription opticians, speech-language pathologists, physiotherapists, prosthetic and dental technologists, physiotherapy technologists and dietitians.

Dubé said that "the management of human resources" is one of the great challenges of the vaccination campaign against COVID-19.

"These agreements with professional orders considerably increase our vaccination capacity, with the potential of a few thousand additional resources to administer the doses," he said.

Dubé's office said that "work is underway to set up the necessary training" for the workers and students involved.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.

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