Eligibility for 3rd Dose
Some individuals are now eligible for a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
If you meet any of the criteria below, please contact your doctor or use our Vaccine Finder to locate a doctor offering the vaccine near you.
Third dose or booster shots are generally recommended at least 6 months after a second dose, unless specified below. Individuals who are age 12 and over should consider a third dose of the vaccine if they:
- Are First Nations people living on reserve.
- Have only received a viral vector vaccine, such as 2 doses of AstraZeneca or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccines – click for further details.
- Are health care personnel who have direct contact contact with patients, residents or clients – click for further details.
- Are moderately or severely immuno-compromised due to a medical condition and/or treatment (at least 28 days after second dose) – click for further details.
- Live in a personal care home (nursing home) – click for further details.
- Live in congregate elderly persons housing.
- Live or work in a First Nation PCH – click for further details.
- Need a third dose to be able to travel (often applicable to individuals with a mixed dose vaccine series) – click for further details.
- Received a vaccine not approved by Health Canada, likely overseas in another country (at least 28 days after second dose) – click for further details.
Only Received Viral Vector Vaccine
Data from clinical trials and observational studies suggests that the viral vector vaccines (e.g. AstraZeneca or Johnson&Johnson) may be less protective over time than the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna). Therefore, it is now recommended that individuals who only received a viral vector vaccine should consider a third dose of an mRNA vaccine.
The booster dose should be given at least 6 months after the second dose.
Booster doses are not recommended at this time for individuals who received a mixed vaccine series (e.g. AstraZeneca for dose one and Pfizer for dose two).
Health Care Worker Eligibility
While the evolving evidence suggests vaccine effectiveness remains high against severe outcomes (e.g. hospitalization or death), there is evidence of waning immunity at least against symptomatic infection. Given the risk of exposure in health care settings if symptomatic, the province will make booster shots available to health care workers, including physicians. It is important to note that health care workers who are fully immunized but become infected could transmit COVID-19 to patients with whom they have direct contact. If symptomatic, fully-vaccinated health care workers will be required to isolate.
According to Public Health, “health care personnel who have direct contact with patients, residents and clients are recommended to receive a third dose of an mRNA vaccine at least 6 months after their second dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.”
Eligibility includes all physicians, pharmacists and nurses who provide direct patient care in any setting. It also includes all health care personnel who have direct contact with patients, residents or clients in:
- Northern nursing stations operated by the Government of Manitoba
- PCHs or supportive housing facilities
- Facilities operated by Shared Health, an RHA, AFM, or a community services agency that is the subject of a funding agreement with Shared Health or an RHA
- Residential mental health facility or addictions treatment facility that is operated by or the subject of a funding agreement with the Government of Manitoba
Health care workers should only get the booster shot at least six months after their second dose. Where possible, the third dose should be with the same mRNA vaccine as the previous dose. Work or professional identification should be presented to confirm their role.
For individuals who meet the specific criteria, a third dose is recommended to complete their COVID-19 vaccination series and offer the best protection. Doctors and scientists have monitored the immune response carefully and recommend a third dose for individuals who:
- Have cancer and are are receiving active chemotherapy (or immunotherapy including CAR-T therapy)
- Have received a solid organ transplant and are receiving chemptherapy 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 and those with AIDS
- Are taking certain medications that severele 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 should consult their doctor. This includes those who
- Have end stage renal disease and are undergoing dialysis
- Are on the organ transplant list
- Have a ventricular assist device (VAD)
Personal Care Home Eligibility
Individuals in personal care homes may require additional protection from a third dose. The province is opening up eligibility for third doses to:
- Residents and staff in First Nation personal care homes (eligible now)
- Residents in all personal care homes (eligible sometime in October)
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 a third dose.
Please note that the United States now recognizes AstraZeneca and mixed dose vaccinations as fully-vaccinated, so there is no need for a booster shot in these cases for travel to the U.S.
Unrecognized Vaccine-Related Eligibility
Some individuals received a vaccine overseas that is not approved by Health Canada, such as Sinovac in China. Because the vaccine is not recognized here, it means they are not eligible for a provincial immunization card and aren’t identified as fully vaccinated.
If the vaccine they received overseas is recogonized by the World Health Organization, these individuals can receive a third dose of a Health Canada-approved vaccine in Manitoba. Afte this, they can apply and be recognized as fully immunized.
Further information about eligibility for third doses is available from Manitoba Health.