In what could possibly be the most fun experience you'll ever have getting a vaccine, Piknic Électronik is partnering with the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal to host a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic this Sunday, July 11.
The clinic is open to festival-goers as well as anyone visiting Parc Jean-Drapeau. Since it's no secret that drugs and alcohol go hand-in-hand with music festivals, we asked what you should you know if you're planning on getting a vaccine dose and also planning on being inebriated.
A Piknic Électronik spokesperson told MTL Blog that "there are no known interactions between vaccines and substance use (drugs and alcohol)."
Still, public health told us it does not recommend attending your vaccination appointment under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Annie Dufour, media relations advisor for the CIUSSS, gave us a few reasons why that is.
Firstly, she said the health care provider giving the vaccine needs informed consent from the person receiving it before administering the dose.
"Alcohol and drugs can impair the ability to fully understand the information given," she said.
Secondly, the side effects of excessive substance use and the side effects of drugs and alcohol may be the same, making it difficult to interpret "clinical manifestations" after vaccination.
In other words, how can you tell if you're feeling faint due to a reaction to the vaccine or due to too much booze?
She said health care professionals on-site will be able to assess whether a person can receive the vaccine.
According to Piknic, the location and time — from 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the entrance to the site — were chosen strategically in order to ensure people can give their clear consent if they want to get vaccinated.
This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.
Judge Sébastien Vaillancourt of the Quebec Superior Court has suspended a father's visitation rights due to the man being unvaccinated against COVID-19.
It's no secret that the Québec government has imposed a handful of restrictions on unvaccinated populations, including Premier Legault's most recent plans to significantly tax the unvaccinated. But it seems as if the personal decision to get vaccinated or not is creating major issues for one Montreal father.
Judge Vaillancourt temporarily barred the man from visiting his 12-year-old son in a December 23 ruling after he attempted to change his custody arrangement for part of the holiday season.
The father had petitioned for a review of his access rights, requesting to see his son between December 30, 2021, and January 9, 2022. The boy's mother contested the request after learning that the man was not vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a court document.
Considering the rampant spread of the Omicron variant, Vaillancourt wrote that while it would normally be in the best interest of the child to see his father, he believed the current epidemiological situation mandated otherwise.
The child, who is currently vaccinated with both doses, also lives with his 7-month-old and 4-year-old half-siblings.
The judge said he also weighed the risk of infection spreading to the younger children, who are not eligible for vaccination, in his decision to suspend visitation rights until at least February 8, 2022.
When the father was questioned regarding his decision to remain unvaccinated, he made clear he had "reservations," but did not explain what they were, Vaillancourt wrote in the decision.
The court further pointed to several of the father's Facebook posts indicating doubts about government health rules, suggesting, Vaillancourt said, that he is a "conspiracy theorist" and undermining his claims that he follows public health measures.
The suspension can be re-evaluated depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 situation, and whether the man abides by health regulations and chooses to get vaccinated. The father is currently set for another hearing on February 8.
Quebec's vaccine passport will be mandatory for more businesses in the near future. With the province reeling under the Omicron wave, Health Minister Christian Dubé made it clear at a press conference on Thursday that the vaccination passport will soon become mandatory for more unspecified "non-essential" commercial businesses.
"The vaccination passport will be mandatory as of January 18 to access the SAQ and the SQDC. Moreover, the vaccination passport will be extended to non-essential commerces in the coming weeks," said Dubé.
The health minister said that there's not yet a list of what businesses will be affected, but that health experts are reviewing the matter and will reveal the list of businesses soon.
There are several upcoming changes to the vaccination passport system that you need to be aware of. In addition to it being mandatory at the SAQ and the SQDC as of January 18, the government announced that eventually the vaccine passport will be updated to include the third dose.
"Right now, a vaccine passport is valid with two doses," said Dubé. "We haven't determined the date because we can't ask people to meet the requirements when they haven't had the chance to be vaccinated, but we will expand the vaccine passport to three doses."
Referencing the displeasure of the unvaccinated, Dubé said that "there's a very simple solution: it's to get vaccinated. It's free and it will protect you from the disease."
"We, the undersigned, demand that the Government of Quebec publicly reject, as of now, the idea of a mandatory vaccination passport and that it commit itself to do like the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has done, that is to say, prohibit the obligation to present a vaccination passport in order to attend certain events and practice certain activities," the petition states.
Samson, a former Coalition Avenir Québec member who switched sides in June, held a press conference about the petition alongside Conservative Party of Quebec leader Eric Duhaime on August 12. They explained that the party had already collected 133,000 signatures on a previous petition that did not meet the criteria of the National Assembly.
"We reviewed the wording [...] So we're going to ask these hundreds of thousands of people to re-sign their petition on the National Assembly website, and we're going to invite Quebecers who don't agree with the vaccine passport to come forward as well," Samson said.
The petition, which was posted to the National Assembly website on August 12, had garnered more than 75,000 signatures at the time this article was published.
The premier said Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé will disclose details of the vaccine passport in Quebec in the coming days.
Why does Legault think Quebec needs a vaccine passport?
Legault said that though the recent rise in new COVID-19 cases in Quebec is low compared to other countries, Quebec has entered the start of a fourth wave of COVID-19. Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said there was evidence of a fourth wave in Canada on July 30.
"We will be giving certain privileges to those who have accepted the effort to go and get two doses," Legault said.
"[Those people] have to live a semi-normal life [and] have to be able to have access to all activities, including non-essential activities like going to a restaurant."
The premier said that in Quebec, 83% of the population over 12 years old has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 67% of the population has received two.
"Right now the people finding themselves in the hospital, the large majority were not vaccinated," Legault said.
"Nobody in Quebec wants to relive what we lived last year, [...] being obliged to postpone surgeries because our hospitals are full," he said.
However, Legault confirmed that the province is maintaining the objective of having students on all levels — from elementary to university — return to school in-person this fall.
How could Quebec's vaccine passport be used?
In Quebec's July 8 announcement of its vaccine passport plan, the ministry of health said it would not be used to access essential or public services, like hospitals, schools and elections — but it could be implemented for non-essential services in high-risk activities like gyms, team sports, bars and restaurants.
The vaccine passport could also be implemented in moderate or low-risk activities that involve large groups of people, like arts and entertainment shows, festivals and sporting events.