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3rd dose: Quebec did not follow the advice of the INSPQ “for the sake of effectiveness”

At a time when many Quebecers are unaware whether they have indeed developed the disease for lack of available tests and are therefore wondering whether they should wait before receiving their booster dose, the Ministry of Health recommends that they go and get it. Nevertheless.

• Read also: Quebec did not listen to its experts on the rapid administration of a 3rd dose to the infected

“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,” said the spokesperson for the Ministry (MSSS), Robert Maranda, by email, Thursday.

Quebec had however affirmed Wednesday that this decision had been taken “following a recommendation of public health”.

Two members of the Quebec Immunization Committee (CIQ), which reports directly to the National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ), replied that it is rather a government decision.

One final recommendation from Arruda

Citing a “recommendation” made 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 to receive a booster dose, as soon as COVID-19 is cured”.

In this document, which the QMI Agency had reported on Wednesday, Dr. Horacio Arruda notably cites the positions of the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (CCNI).

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 3e dose to an infected person as soon as their symptoms stop.

Thus, “a citizen having received a positive result for COVID could decide to wait up to 3 months, that is to say the time prescribed by the CIQ, before going to seek his 3e dose ”, indicates the MSSS.

Eight weeks minimum

Indeed, the CIQ recommends instead 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 meeting 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 the DD 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, Thursday.

But “due to the tightening up for access to PCR tests and the low availability of rapid tests, it is becoming difficult to separate people who have recently had COVID-19 from others,” the ministry admits.

Requested transparency

For the leader of the Parti Québécois, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, the department should be more transparent, especially when it comes to health care provided to the population.

“People have a right to know what is recommended and what is medically optimal, regardless of management and operational considerations or the will of the government,” he said.

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 the vaccine immediately after having the illness.

“The first step is for there to be transparent disclosure of medical recommendations in relation to the vaccine,” he said.

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