Quebec vaccine committee recommends 3rd COVID-19 dose for immunocompromised people

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This measure concerns about one to two per cent of the population and includes people who have had an organ transplant or who are receiving chemotherapy treatment.  (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada - image credit)
This measure concerns about one to two per cent of the population and includes people who have had an organ transplant or who are receiving chemotherapy treatment. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Quebec's immunization committee (CIQ) is recommending a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for people who are immunocompromised or undergoing dialysis.

A notice released Monday by the province's public health research institute, the INSPQ, says an additional dose should be considered as a reinforcement of the basic vaccination, as the second dose is sometimes not sufficient.

This measure concerns about one to two per cent of the population and includes people who have had an organ transplant or who are receiving chemotherapy treatment.

"These people often do not respond to the first two doses due to a medical condition that affects their immune system," said Dr. Nicholas Brousseau, a medical specialist at the INSPQ and president of the CIQ.

"They should receive a third dose of an mRNA vaccine at least four weeks after the second dose to improve their protection against COVID-19."

The CIQ added that it is "essential that relatives of immunosuppressed people are adequately immunized."

Anyone who qualifies for a third dose is able to get one immediately at any walk-in vaccination clinic across the province. People can also book an appointment on the Clic Santé site, an option the Ministry of Health says should be updated within the next few days.

For now, the CIQ is not recommending a third dose for seniors in long-term care. It says the province's strategy to delay the time between the first two doses seems to have resulted in sufficient protection.

But the CIQ and INSPQ also say they are closely monitoring the evolution of the virus and the efficacy of vaccines in order to quickly adapt, noting third doses for other groups may be considered.

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