Quebec now recommends booster for people recovering from COVID-19

Several Montreal COVID-19 vaccination centers are now also offering the booster shot to all adults on a walk-in basis.

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The Quebec government now recommends that people who have recently been infected with COVID-19 receive a booster shot “as soon as possible” after their symptoms resolve.


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The announcement, made in a news release on Wednesday, is a change in approach after the province previously advised people who contract the virus to wait at least eight weeks before receiving their third dose.

“In the current epidemiological context,” the Quebec Ministry of Health wrote Wednesday, “it is recommended that all persons who wish, including those who have recently had COVID-19, be able to receive a booster dose as soon as possible. . “

The ministry added that it believes the booster injection provides better protection against the Omicron variant. It still recommends that people wait three months between the second and third doses.

In recent weeks, experts from the Quebec immunization committee and the province’s public health institute (INSPQ) have questioned whether a third dose is necessary for people who have been infected.


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INSPQ said it had no one available to comment on the change on Wednesday. The Health Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

In an interview, Dr. Alain Lamarre, a specialist in immunology and virology at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), said he was taken aback by the announcement.

“I don’t think there is a scientific consensus behind this. I think it is more in the spirit of sending a message of urgency or communicating that Quebec really wants to speed up the third dose process,” Lamarre said.

“In general, we think of an infection as a dose of vaccine, and you usually have to wait a few weeks for the immune response to develop and become established before giving another dose,” he added.


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“So I don’t see a clear scientific reason to give a dose of vaccine right after an infection.”

Quebec has said that once the entire population has had a chance to get their booster shot, the “adequate protection” status for the vaccine passport will increase to three doses. At the moment, two doses are enough.

Quebec also accelerated its third-dose campaign on Wednesday, making more adults eligible to book appointments sooner.

People 25 and older will now be eligible to book their booster shots starting Thursday, and all adults will be able to do so on Friday, three days earlier than previously announced.

Meanwhile, several Montreal COVID-19 vaccination centers, including the Palais des congrès and Décarie Square, have begun offering the third dose on a walk-in basis to everyone over the age of 18.


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Jean Nicolas Aubé, spokesman for CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, said the Palais des Congrès started doing so a few days ago.

“Since we have the capacity to do it there, and these people will be eligible for appointments in the next few days,” Aubé said, “we figured why not offer it to them now rather than turn them around and tell them to come back later. . “

The CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal also confirmed that walk-in booster shots are now available to all adults at its vaccination clinics in Montreal North, Villeray, Ahuntsic and St-Laurent.

Boards of health recommend visiting their websites to find out what hours walk-in services are offered.

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