Quebec shortens interval between AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine doses to 8 weeks

A member of the National Health Service in the UK holds vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images file

Quebec is shortening the interval between the first and second doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The province announced Thursday it is lowering the time between shots from 16 weeks to eight weeks for that brand of vaccine. The booster shots will start being administered at walk-in clinics on May 29.

The decision to advance the booster shot comes following advice from the province’s immunization committee.

In Quebec, only people who are 45 years and older were able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine amid concerns about a rare blood-clotting condition.

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Earlier this month, the government announced it will no longer be administering that brand as a first dose. It followed in the footsteps of other provinces.

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The province says the same vaccine is still recommended for the second shot — but Quebecers who have received AstraZeneca can choose another available vaccine as a booster shot.

However, if they get a different shot then the delay remains 16 weeks between doses.

Quebec says it has 148,100 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in stock.

Health Minister Christian Dubé says the province will announce a plan next week to accelerate the administration of second doses of other vaccines.

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With files from The Canadian Press

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