A third dose of COVID-19 vaccine recommended for people who are immunosuppressed or on dialysis

The Quebec Immunization Committee (CIQ) recommends administering a third dose of vaccine against COVID-19 to people who are immunocompromised or who are undergoing dialysis treatment “in order to offer them better protection” against the disease.

This additional dose should be considered as a reinforcement of the basic vaccination, and not as a booster dose, underlines the advisory committee. in a notice published on Monday. Such a recommendation is already applied in several countries, including France and the United States.

The measure concerns only 1 to 2% of the population: people who have received an organ transplant, those who receive chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments or even those who take drugs that affect their immune system, for example.

“Often these people do not respond to the first two doses due to a medical condition that affects their immune system. They should receive a third dose of a messenger RNA vaccine with a delay of four weeks or more after the second dose to improve their defenses against COVID-19 ”, explains Dr. Nicholas Brousseau, medical specialist at the National Institute of public health of Quebec (INSPQ) and president of the CIQ.

Whenever possible, a dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) should be given to immunocompromised people, the CIQ recommends, even for those who have previously received AstraZeneca, said the Ministry of Health in a press release. In addition, the CIQ recalls that it considers “essential” that relatives of an immunocompromised person be adequately vaccinated.

Those affected can now go to the walk-in vaccination clinics. For those who wish to make an appointment online, the Ministry of Health indicates that the Clic Santé platform needs to be updated soon in the next few days in order to offer this option.

No third dose in CHSLDs, for the moment

However, in another opinion, the CIQ does not currently recommend the administration of a third dose of vaccines to residents of residential and long-term care centers in the province.

Quebec had chosen to extend the time between the two doses beyond the interval recommended by vaccine manufacturers. This “seems to have favored better protection”, it is specified in the opinion, which adds that this Quebec strategy also means that the second dose was offered more recently to residents of CHSLDs in Quebec compared to other provinces. or country.

In addition, the incidence of COVID-19 is currently very low in these settings, reports the CIQ.

The growing circulation of the “highly transmissible” Delta variant, however, worries the health authorities, who say they are closely monitoring the situation in CHSLDs. “If necessary, a booster dose will be considered for certain groups of the population in order to reactivate their immune memory. “

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