Quebec to decide 'in coming days' if it will follow advice to give boosters to 50 and up
MONTREAL -- Canada's national vaccine advisory panel recommended Friday that everyone 50 and up get access to COVID-19 booster shots, but it isn't clear yet if Quebec will follow that recommendation.
On Twitter at 1:45 p.m., the province's health department said the provincial immunization committee will make the final call, and that will take a few days.
"Despite NACI's advice, for the moment in Quebec, the additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is only offered to people aged 70 and over," the ministry wrote.
"According to the opinion of the Quebec Immunization Committee, [the ministry] will adjust its vaccination offer. Details to come in the next few days."
NACI, the national advisory panel, went further in its recommendations, also saying that people ages 18 to 49 “may” be offered boosters depending on individual risks and where they live.
Some provinces have already lowered the age cutoff for third shots. Ontario announced earlier this week, before the new NACI guidelines, that it will lower the age limit to 50 in mid-December.
Alberta authorities decided to open boosters to everyone over 18, saying the province's epidemiology requires it.
Booster shots are given six months after the second shot in order to boost immunity.
In a statement to CTV News, Quebec's health ministry said they are following standard procedure by waiting for the provincial expert panel to weigh in, but will be able to act quickly if the limit is lowered.
"The teams are ready to adapt the vaccination campaign to the expansion of the booster doses, if necessary," said spokesperson Marie-Claude Lacasse.
They also wanted to remind "people who have not yet received any vaccine doses... that there is still time to get vaccinated and thus be better protected in the face of the recent upsurge in cases."
Quebec reported 1,355 new cases on Friday, the second surge in a week, as the number of total active infections topped 9,000.