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Quebec offers 3rd dose of COVID vaccine to AstraZeneca recipients who want to travel


Montreal–The Quebec government says fully vaccinated residents who have received the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can receive a third dose of an mRNA vaccine before travelling.

Quebec is offering the extra shot because some countries don't recognize the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine made at the Serum Institute of India, and Canadians who have received it could find themselves barred from entry.

But health officials are warning that it's up to the recipient to seek advice and weigh the risks before getting a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

A spokesman for the Health Department said today a third dose doesn't necessarily provide more protection compared with two doses, adding that the safety of receiving two shots of AstraZeneca mixed with an mRNA vaccine is unclear.

Quebec is reporting 75 new cases of COVID-19 today along with 223 new infections from Friday and Saturday.

Health officials are reporting one death attributed to the novel coronavirus since Friday's report, and they say the number of patients in hospital with COVID-19 was 67—stable since Friday.

Robert Maranda, a spokesman for the Health Department, says there are no studies that assess the impact of receiving three doses of two separate vaccines.

"The person should be properly counselled to be informed of the potential risks associated with this added dose compared to the benefits of the planned trip,'' he said in an email.

"It is up to everyone to weigh the balance of risks and benefits.''

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