MONTREAL — Quebec’s mass vaccination campaign gets underway in earnest in the Montreal area today as the province begins inoculating members of the general public.

MONTREAL Quebecs mass vaccination campaign gets underway in earnest in the Montreal area today as the province begins inoculating members of the general public.
The province announced last week that it was booking appointments for seniors age 85 and up across the province, or 80 and above in Montreal.
Quebec began accepting appointments last Thursday, with nearly 100,000 booked on Day One of the campaign.
Some regions started vaccinating members of the general population late last week, but the campaign is expected to speed up considerably with the opening of mass vaccine clinics in the Montreal area, including one at the Olympic Stadium.
Outlying regions are mainly expected to ramp up after the March break holiday, which gets underway today.
Quebec has so far concentrated its vaccination effort on health care workers, people living in remote regions and seniors in closed environments such as long-term care and private seniors residences.
The province has chosen to delay giving second doses in favour of administering a first jab to as many people as possible, but the provinces health minister said last week it will dole out second doses beginning March 15.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault said Saturday that the start of the mass vaccination campaign was giving him “a lot of hope,” even as he expressed concern about spring break week and the spread of new virus variants.
In a Facebook message, he urged Quebecers to remain vigilant for the coming weeks to allow the province to vaccinate more people, and to wait for immunity to fully develop in those who have received a shot. 
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021.
The Canadian Press