Seven patients from the Maimonides Geriatric Hospital Center, located in Côte-Saint-Luc on the island of Montreal, recently contracted COVID-19 even though they had received a first dose of the vaccine from Pfizer / BioNTech.
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The information was disclosed in a message sent by the CIUSSS du Center-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal to the families of patients at the care center, which was the very first in Quebec to launch the vaccination campaign. , December 14.
“The residents who tested positive recently all received the first dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 and they were infected during the first 28 days following the administration of this dose”, recognized the CIUSSS.
The Maimonides center is one of the hardest hit since the start of the second wave, with 102 cases and 22 deaths according to data shared by the CIUSSS. About 80% of the employees who work there and 84% of the patients have been vaccinated there for the first time.
This raises questions about the strategy of delaying the administration of the second dose of the vaccine, which must be given three weeks after the first for Pfizer’s vaccine and four for Moderna’s.
Quebec opted for this idea on December 31 in order to vaccinate as many people as possible, arguing that the protection offered for the first dose makes it possible to delay the second.
In doing so, the CIUSSS admitted that it did not know when the second dose will finally be administered to patients at the Maimonides center.
This situation concerns Joyce Shanks, who acts as spokesperson for the Family Advocacy Committee of the Maimonides Geriatric Center.
“It shows us that a single dose is not enough,” she said in an interview with the QMI Agency.
This committee filed last week a formal notice against Quebec to demand that the province indeed distribute the second dose within the allotted time. However, the government did not react, lamented Ms. Shanks.
Patients’ relatives therefore continue to mobilize, in particular by raising funds to be able to take Quebec to court, should the Ministry of Health persist in favoring the administration of a single dose for the moment.
Called to react, the office of Minister of Health Christian Dubé relied on the recommendations of Public Health. “Public Health continues to have discussions with the scientific bodies concerned in order to assess the best timeframe to offer the second dose to Quebecers. The decision of Public Health will be communicated quickly, ”commented the Minister’s press secretary, Marjaurie Côté-Boileau.
“It should be noted that the director of vaccination, Mr. Daniel Paré, says he is ready to administer the second dose more quickly than expected, if that was the option chosen by Public Health,” added Ms. Côté-Boileau.
The Maimonides patients committee is therefore calling for the intervention of the federal government. “It’s Health Canada’s job to make sure everyone with this drug in their hands follows the instructions,” Joyce Shanks argued.
The latter also hopes for more transparency from the health authorities. “This is the first time it’s published, but we knew there were cases. My dad has been tested twice in the last week because there were cases on his floor, ”Ms. Shanks said.