THEThe Ministry of Health is proposing this additional injection because some countries do not consider people who have received a “mixed scenario” vaccination to be adequately vaccinated.
In both Quebec and Canada, a mixed schedule involving either a viral vector vaccine (AstraZeneca or Covishield) or an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is considered acceptable, the ministry said.
But health officials caution that the recipient should seek advice and weigh the risks before receiving a third dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.
A health ministry spokesman said Monday that the third dose does not necessarily provide more protection than the two doses, adding that protection against getting two AstraZeneca injections mixed with MRNA has not been clearly established.
The ministry said in a statement that the introduction of an additional dose of the vaccine remains “an exceptional measure for people who are planning an important trip outside the country in the near future and who must meet vaccination requirements.”
It added that discussions with the federal government are ongoing so that mixed or two-dose AstraZeneca or Covishield vaccine scenarios will be more widely accepted internationally.
Quebec reported 75 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, with a total of 814 active cases.
Robert Maranda, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, recalled that there are no studies evaluating the impact of receiving three doses of two separate vaccines.
“The person needs to be informed of the potential risks associated with this additional dose, compared to the benefits of the planned trip,” he said via email. “Everyone has to weigh the balance of risks and benefits,” he added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister François Lego announced on Monday that his government is further relaxing rules for bars, nightclubs, festivals and entertainment venues.