Staff of our CIUSSS have made big strides to make sure they’re adequately vaccinated against COVID-19. But if you’ve only received two doses, you’re not there yet.
Experts say it takes three doses—two plus a booster—to acquire enough protection against COVID-19. And that protection is especially important for workers in health care and social services.
“By the nature of our jobs we face that extra risk,” says Dr. Matthew Oughton, an Attending Physician in the Jewish General Hospital’s Division of Infectious Diseases.
“A third dose is an important part of keeping ourselves protected, both as individuals and as integral parts of the healthcare system.”
Our CIUSSS has a lot to be proud of when it comes to vaccination. Participation in our vaccination campaign has been strong, and two-thirds of staff are triple-vaccinated. But that still leaves a remaining third—hundreds of vital healthcare employees—without adequate protection.
That’s why dose No. 3, a booster, makes such a difference. The Institut national de santé publique du Québec now considers “fully vaccinated” to be three doses. Its findings reveal why:
- Three doses of the vaccine are 80-per-cent effective against mild illness that doesn’t require a medical consultation; two doses are 45-per-cent effective.
- Three doses provide 85 per cent effectiveness in preventing emergency room visits; with two doses, it’s 60 per cent.
- Three doses are 90-per-cent effective in preventing serious COVID-19 infection leading to hospitalization; two doses are 80-per-cent effective.
“A third dose is an important part of keeping ourselves protected, both as individuals and as integral parts of the healthcare system.”Dr. Matthew Oughton
Not only does a third dose lower the chance you’ll get infected, but if you do get sick, it greatly reduces the odds you’ll wind up severely ill, says Dr. Oughton, who is also an Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases at McGill University.
“What it does best is protect against severe disease that makes you sick enough to need medical attention, maybe hospitalization and even ICU-level care,” he says.
While it’s natural to feel COVID-19 fatigue after battling the virus for more than two years, the virus is still among us. “Even if we’re tired of dealing with the virus, the virus isn’t tired of dealing with us,” Dr. Oughton says.
Lucie Tremblay, Director of Nursing and Vaccination for our CIUSSS, urges those who haven’t already done so to get their booster. Since the start of the pandemic, staff have shown exemplary professionalism in caring for and protecting healthcare users, she says.
“A booster shot gives more lasting protection, which minimizes the risk of spreading the virus among our most vulnerable users,” says Ms. Tremblay. “After so many months of effort, I encourage you not to let down your guard.”
In addition, the booster is a step toward protecting your loved ones.
Adds Ms. Tremblay: “The entire vaccination team will be happy to welcome you.”
Staff can book an appointment for a booster shot—or a first or second dose—through Clic Santé or by calling 514 644-4545. You can get vaccinated at our mass vaccination sites at Décarie Square; at the Parc Extension site (7101 Parc Avenue); or at a vaccination location closer to your home.
You can also get vaccinated at our mass vaccination sites without an appointment as long as three months have elapsed since your last dose, or since a positive COVID-19 test.