MONTREAL – Quebec Public Health has issued new guidelines for people to be boosted “as soon as possible,” including those who have recently had COVID-19, as the province prepares to make three doses the minimum for be considered “adequately protected”.
Quebec announced the upcoming changes in a press release on Wednesday, as it prepares to open eligibility for third doses to all Quebec adults on Friday.
All three doses will be required for the Quebec vaccine passport, which is needed to enter government alcohol and cannabis retailers, as well as restaurant dining rooms, bars and other environments that are currently closed.
However, the statement did not specify exactly when the change will occur.
“When the entire population has had the opportunity to receive their booster dose, the ‘adequately protected’ status of the vaccine passport will increase to three doses,” the statement said.
“ASAP” EVEN IF YOU’RE JUST SICK
“In the current epidemiological context, it is recommended that all people who wish, including those who have recently had COVID-19, can obtain a booster dose against COVID-19 as soon as possible”, reads- we in the press release.
“People who have contracted COVID-19 will be able to receive the booster dose as soon as their disease has cleared, that is, when the symptoms have disappeared.”
This marks a change in the province’s public health guidelines. On Wednesday, the government’s online booking portal, Clic Santé, still recommended waiting “eight weeks after the onset of your symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test” before making an appointment for a third dose of the vaccine.
CTV News asked the Department of Health and Human Services to clarify the new recommendation.
“DOUBLE SURGE” COVID-19 VARIANT: DOCTOR
While it’s unclear exactly how much immunity a person can get after catching one variant of COVID-19, the presence of more than one does make the waters muddier.
While a significant portion of Quebec’s population fell ill with COVID-19 during Omicron’s ongoing explosive surge in the province, the previously dominant Delta variant was still circulating.
As community transmission increased and testing became harder to come by, it’s not so easy to tell, at this point, who got Delta and who got Omicron.
Dr Donald Vinh, an infectious disease specialist at the McGill University Health Centre, said it is still unclear whether antibodies from a Delta infection will protect against the Omicron variant, and early data from South Africa South suggest they won’t.
“And so we don’t necessarily want to lump those two groups of people together,” he told CTV News. “The purpose of a third dose is to protect you against the predominant variant in circulation.”
Vinh said that in an ideal world where everyone knew which variant they were getting, vaccination timelines would vary for each group.
“We don’t think if you’ve been infected with Omicron that you can be re-infected with Omicron in the short term,” he said, estimating that term would be around four to six weeks, but we still can’t be sure. sure. because “we have no data”.
“So for a guideline to say if you’ve had a recent infection, once your symptoms have passed, go get your booster shot, I think there’s a bit of intellectual thought process missing here.”
With files from Joe Lofaro of CTV Montreal