Updated March 2023
Spring 2023 Boosters
A spring booster show is now available and recommended for individuals at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 infections.
Individuals at higher risk should consider a spring 2023 booster shot if it has been at least 6 months since your last COVID-19 vaccine dose or infection. Higher risk groups include:
- Adults age 65+
- Indigenous adults age 45+ (including First Nation, Métis and Inuit Peoples)
- Residents of long term care, assisted living or supportive housing facilities
- Adults age 18+ who are moderately or severely immuno-compromised.
Timing is important. Please discuss the timing of your spring booster with your doctor. It is possible a fall 2023 booster will be recommended, but it might be only be recommended six months after your last dose. If you wait and get a late spring or summer booster, it could affect the timing of a possible fall booster.
If you did not receive a booster in fall 2022, it is still recommended.
BIVALENT (OMICRON) BOOSTER SHOTS: Bivalent booster shots are recommended as they also target the dominant Omicron variant. All adults age 5+ are eligible. It is recommended to wait six months from your last dose or a previous COVID infection to get the bivalent booster dose.
Boosters – Recommended for Ages 5 and up
A booster shot is recommended after your primary immunization series. If it has been more than six months since your last vaccine dose or since a COVID-19 infection, you are likely eligible for a booster shot. Boosters are recommended for ages 5 and up. Boosters are not currently recommended for infants and small children under the age of 5.
Boosters for Children and Youth
Currently, booster doses are not yet recommended for all children and youth.
All youth aged five and up can receive a booster shot. A booster is strongly recommended for those who are immuno-compromised or have an underlying health condition that increases their risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Immuno-Compromised Individuals (age 6 months and older): Doctors strongly recommend a third dose for individuals who are moderately to severely immuno-compromised to complete their primary series. Boosters are also recommended for some age groups. A third dose should be given at least 28 days after the second dose, and for those age 5+ a fourth dose, or first booster, should be given four to six months after their third dose. See below for the definition of moderately to severely immuno-compromised.
- Youth with Underlying or Chronic Medical Conditions (age 5-17): Because youth with underlying or chronic conditions could be at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, a booster shot should be considered 4-6 months after their last dose. If someone in this age group has any of the following conditions, please talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of a booster dose. Conditions include:
- Cancer (active treatment)
- Chronic diseases of the kidney, lung (including uncontrolled asthma), liver, or heart (includuing pulmonary hypertension)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Diabetes (type 1 and 2)
- Down syndrome
- Neurodevelopmental and other chronic neurologic conditions such as epilepsy and cerebrovascular disease
- Obesity (BMI of 30 or higher)
- Substance use disorder
- Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
- Immuno-compromised condition or treatment (see section below for details)
- Medically fragile or having medically complex needs
- Youth residing in a congregate living setting (age 12-17): Individuals, including youth, living in large group settings may be at higher risk of serious illness or outcomes from COVID-19. These setting could include shelters, group homes, quarters for migrant workers and correction.
- Youth who belong to racialized and/or marginalized communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 (Age 12-17)
Doctors and scientists have monitored the immune response carefully. For individuals age 6 months and older who are considered moderately to severely immuno-compromised, a third dose is recommended to complete their COVID-19 vaccination series. For those age 5 and older, a booster shot (fourth dose) is also recommended to maintain the best protection.
- Third doses should be given at 4-8 weeks after the second dose to complete your primary vaccination series.
- If it’s been more than six months since your last dose or infection, a booster is likely recommended. Talk to your doctor.
Individuals are considered moderately or severely immuno-compromised if they:
- Have cancer and are receiving active chemotherapy (or immunotherapy including CAR-T therapy)
- Have received a solid organ transplant and are receiving chemotherapy or other immuno-suppressive therapy
- Were born with a moderate or severe dysfunction of their immune system
- Are living with untreated or advanced (stage 3 or advanced) HIV-AIDS
- Are taking certain medications that severely affect the immune system, including:
- Anti-B cell therapies
- High-dose systemic corticosteroids
- Alkylating agents, antimetabolites, or tumornecrosis factor (TNF) blockers
- Other biologic agents that are significantly immuno-suppressive, including TNF blockers, certain biologic agents (e.g., rituximab), mycophenolate, tacrolimus, Jak inhibitors, methotrexate, fingolimod, azathioprine and leflunomide
The following individuals may benefit from a third dose and booster shot, but should consult their doctor for individual advice. This includes those who
- Are receiving dialysis (hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis)
- Are on the organ transplant list
- Have a ventricular assist device (VAD)
Further information about eligibility for third doses is available from Manitoba Health.