After encouraging infected people in mid-January to receive a booster dose as soon as the symptoms of COVID-19 end, Quebec did an about-face on Friday. It is now better to wait eight weeks after recovery, said the government, saying it is based on an opinion from the Committee on Immunization of Quebec (CIQ). However, in the opinion in question, the CIQ considers that it is preferable to wait for new vaccines that are more effective against the variants.
Posted yesterday at 8:31 p.m.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) states “ [maintenir] its recommendation for people who have had the disease to get a booster dose, respecting however the minimum interval of eight weeks”. This government advice concerns people who have received a positive PCR test as well as those who have obtained a positive result from a rapid test “with significant symptoms”, the statement read.
However, the Ministry had indicated on January 12 that all Quebecers could obtain a booster dose as soon as their symptoms were over. In “the current epidemiological context”, the booster dose offers better protection against the Omicron variant, had written the MSSS.
In the notice issued Friday by the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec, on which the Ministry relies, the CIQ says however that it does not know whether the administration of a third dose increases the immune response in a person recently infected and doubly vaccinated. In this specific case, obtaining a booster dose quickly “seems to be of little use”, writes the CIQ. “Waiting for new vaccines that offer an extended range of protection would be the best option in this case,” the advisory reads.
By respecting the interval of eight weeks after infection, but ideally waiting three months, “a previously infected person who requests it” could receive a booster dose, writes the CIQ.
People who are unsure of having had COVID-19 or who have not been able to access a PCR test “can get their booster dose as quickly as possible,” writes the MSSS.
With the collaboration of Henri Ouellette-Vézina, The Press