Quebec cuts wait between doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to eight weeks –

Quebec cuts wait between doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to eight weeks – fr

MONTREAL – Quebec is shortening the minimum time between the first and second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to eight weeks, Health Minister Christian Dube announced Thursday.

Second doses of the vaccine will begin to be given at walk-in clinics on Saturday to people who received their first dose by April 3, Dubé told reporters in Quebec City. People who received their first dose after April 3 will be able to receive a second dose in early June, he said.

Quebec had set the period between the first and second dose at 16 weeks for all COVID-19 vaccines authorized in Canada.

The health ministry said the decision to shorten the wait for AstraZeneca was based on advice from the province’s vaccination committee. He added, however, that a clinical trial has shown the vaccine to be more effective if the first and second doses are 12 weeks apart.

“The best advice is if you want to wait the full 12 weeks you can do that,” Dube said, adding that the difference in effectiveness is “marginal” and the shorter wait is for people who want to get fully vaccinated earlier.

A letter from the Quebec Immunization Committee to the Director of Public Health, Dr Horacio Arruda – which was viewed by The Canadian Press – stated that the AstraZeneca vaccine is 78% effective if the second dose is given at least 12 weeks after the premiere. The vaccine, he said, is 70% effective if the second dose is given after an interval of nine to 12 weeks.

The letter from the Quebec Immunization Committee noted that the study, conducted in the UK, may be imprecise due to the small sample size.

Quebec has nearly 150,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in stock. The province stopped administering the first doses of this vaccine on May 13 due to concerns about rare cases of blood clots. He also did not offer the vaccine to people under the age of 45.

Although the government recommends that people who have received AstraZeneca receive a second dose of the same, this will allow people to switch to a different vaccine for their second injection, but they will have to wait longer between doses.

Quebec Premier François Legault told reporters on Thursday that the decision to shorten the interval was unrelated to AstraZeneca’s expiration dates.

The decision, he said, was based on the recommendation of the immunization committee. “We want to speed up the second dose for Moderna and Pfizer as well, because we want to have immunity as soon as possible. “

Dube said the government would announce its plan to speed up second doses of the other two vaccines next week.

According to the Institut de santé publique du Québec, 57.1% of residents have received at least one vaccine vaccine, while 5.9% have received two doses or are considered to be correctly vaccinated after having tested positive for COVID-19 and received a dose. Authorities said 86,453 doses of the vaccine had been administered as of Wednesday, for a total of 5,202,132.

Meanwhile, the Quebec blood bank said Thursday that a study of 7,924 blood donors suggested that 10% of Quebecers had developed antibodies to COVID-19 following an infection at the end of the period. second wave of the pandemic in March. Héma-Québec said in a statement that its study showed the need for vaccination because only a small percentage of the population had any level of immunity to COVID-19.

The study estimated that 600,000 people in Quebec aged 20 to 69 developed antibodies against COVID-19 after being infected between the start of the pandemic and March 11. As of May 27, COVID-19 tests had detected 243,104 infections among this age group, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

The Hema-Quebec study found that younger people were more likely to have contracted COVID-19 and that the percentage of people with antibodies decreased with age, ranging from 19% among people aged 18 to 24 years at 9.5% among those aged 70 and over. .

Women were more likely to have been infected, with 16.9% having antibodies in their blood, compared to 12.5% ​​of men.

Laval, Quebec, had the highest rate of people with antibodies in the province, at 18.5 percent, followed by Montreal, at 16.7 percent. The two cities in Quebec were the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quebec reported 436 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and 10 other deaths attributed to the new coronavirus, including one in the previous 24 hours. Health officials said hospitalizations fell by five, to 394 and 96 people were in intensive care, down from five.

– This report by La Presse canadienne was first published in French on May 27, 2021.


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