Booster Shots / 3rd Doses
Updated January 11, 2022
All adults (age 18+) are now eligible for a booster shot (third dose) of a COVID-19 vaccine, and it is recommended to get your booster as soon as you are eligible.
The recommended timeline for booster shots varies. For most adults, a booster is recommended 6 months after your second dose. A shorter timeline is recommended for some groups, including individuals age 50 and over, those who live in a First Nations community, and those moderately to severely immuno-compromised. See the recommendations below for more details.
Generally, booster shots are available to all adults 6 months after your second dose. You can check the date of your second dose here. In some cases, doctors recommend a booster shot earlier than six months. See below for these recommendations.
→ Think you’ve had COVID-19 recently? You should still get your booster, but you may want to wait a few weeks. Read more.
Earlier Eligibility and Recommendations
In some cases, doctors recommend a booster shot earlier than six months because of increased risks from COVID-19. These groups include:
- Individuals Age 50+: Doctors strongly recommend a booster shot five months after their second dose for anyone age 50 or older.
- Adults in First Nations Communities: Doctors strongly recommend a booster shot five months after their second dose for anyone who lives in a First Nation community.
- Immuno-Compromised Individuals (age 12+): Doctors strongly recommend a third dose, and a booster shot, for individuals who are moderately to severely immuno-compromised. A third dose should be given at least 28 days after the second dose, and a fourth dose, or booster, should be given 6 months after that. See below for the definition of moderately to severely immuno-compromised.
Travel-Related Early Booster Shots
Some individuals planning to travel may require a third dose to be considered fully vaccinated. For example, this could include individuals who received two doses in Manitoba, but with different vaccine products (e.g. AstraZeneca and Pfizer). These individuals should consult a doctor to make an informed decision about getting their booster shot earlier than 6 months. These third doses should only be given at least 28 days after the second dose. Please note that the United States now recognizes AstraZeneca and mixed dose vaccinations as fully-vaccinated, so there is no need for an early booster shot in these cases for travel to the U.S.
Doctors and scientists have monitored the immune response carefully. For individuals age 12 and older who are considered moderately to severely immuno-compromised, a third dose is recommended to complete their COVID-19 vaccination series and a booster shot (fourth dose) is also recommended to maintain the best protection.
- Third doses should be given at least 28 days after the second dose.
- Booster shot (4th dose) should be given 6 months after the third dose.
Individuals are considered moderately or severely immunocompromised 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 immunosuppressive 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 immunosuppressive, 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.