Quebec No Longer Recommends Everyone Get The COVID-19 Booster Shot
"Adding a dose doesn’t add a lot of protection for severe (illness)."
Quebec is no longer recommending the COVID-19 booster shot for healthy individuals. Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau announced the most recent change in vaccine protocol during a Thursday press conference, stating that only those who are at risk and who haven't had COVID-19 before should get the booster dose.
Most Quebecers have hybrid immunity to COVID-19 — protection through a previous vaccine and a SARS-CoV-2 infection — therefore regular booster shots are deemed unnecessary, Boileau told reporters.
"People with hybrid immunity have a very good protection against a severe form of the illness," Boileau said. “And this immunity lasts for a long enough time that we can propose changes.”
For the coming months (winter and spring 2023), the provincial government is only recommending an additional booster dose for people who are vulnerable and who have never had COVID-19, and for people who are immunocompromised or who are on dialysis, whether or not they have contracted COVID-19.
As for those who have been vaccinated but have not contracted COVID-19, Dr. Luc Boileau says they are also protected, however, their immunity does have a "tendency to drop with time."
Boileau was joined by Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, chairperson of the Quebec immunization committee and pediatric microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at CHU Sainte-Justine. Dr. Quach-Thanh said that the current data indicates those already vaccinated against COVID-19 and who have contracted the virus "maintain their protection."
"Adding a dose doesn’t add a lot of protection for severe (illness)," she said.
Although the government recommends the booster dose for a specific demographic, they will not turn anyone who wishes to get the vaccine away. "We won't refuse anyone," Boileau confirmed.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.