Quebec has chosen “for the sake of efficiency” to allow people infected with COVID-19 to receive a 3rd dose of vaccine as soon as their symptom ends, even if its experts do not recommend it.
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“It is better to give a booster dose to someone who has recently had COVID-19 than to leave someone who has not had COVID-19 without additional protection,” the spokesperson said. ministry (MSSS), Robert Maranda, by email, Thursday.
Quebec had however affirmed Wednesday that this decision had been taken “following a recommendation from public health”.
Two members of the Quebec Immunization Committee (CIQ), which reports directly to the National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ), then replied that it was rather a government decision.
Quoting a “recommendation” issued by the former national director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, the day of his resignation, the MSSS specifies Thursday that “there is no risk in receiving a booster dose, as soon as COVID-19 is cured”.
In this document, whose existence the QMI Agency reported on Wednesday, Dr. Horacio Arruda cites in particular the positions of the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).
The position of the Quebec Immunization Committee (CIQ) is also mentioned there, but to say that it “does not eliminate” the option of giving a 3rd dose to an infected person as soon as their symptoms end.
Thus, “a citizen who has received a positive result for COVID could decide to wait up to 3 months, i.e. the period prescribed by the CIQ, before picking up his 3rd dose”, indicates the MSSS.
Indeed, the CIQ rather recommends that infected people wait “ideally” three months and “minimally” eight weeks before taking advantage of their booster dose. “Adverse effects” can occur in a recently infected person who receives their vaccine without having respected this deadline, they wrote in mid-December.
“It has not changed on the side of scientific data, the disease offers excellent protection, but currently, operational or administrative imperatives have taken over”, had also indicated Dr. Maryse Guay, professor at the University of Sherbrooke and member of the CIQ, Wednesday.
“It remains for people who have recently had COVID-19 to make the best decision for their health, hoping that they will have access to all the information to make an informed decision,” she added on Thursday.
But “due to the tightening of access to PCR tests and the low availability of rapid tests, it becomes difficult to distinguish people who have recently had COVID-19 from others”, recognizes the ministry.
For the leader of the Parti Québécois, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, the department should show more transparency, especially when it comes to health care given to the population.
“People have a right to know what is recommended what is medically optimal, regardless of management and operational considerations or the will of the government,” he stressed.
In the context of the lack of screening tests, Paul Saint-Pierre Plamondon recognizes that it is “a complicated situation”, but affirms that it is necessary to explain “at the very least” to the population the potential side effects. to receive a dose of vaccine immediately after becoming ill.
“The first step is for there to be transparent disclosure of medical recommendations in relation to the vaccine,” he said.