COVID-19 Vaccine
 

COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Criteria


All people in Manitoba aged 5 years and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. This page provides information about vaccine eligibility, guidance for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, medical exemptions, recommendations on the type of vaccine people should receive, and other COVID-19 vaccine guidance.


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Other important information

You can make your vaccine appointment at some sites online or by calling 1-844-626-8222. The vaccine is also available from medical clinics, pharmacies and other locations. Use the Vaccine Finder to find a convenient location.

It's helpful to know when you received your previous doses of COVID-19 vaccine and the type of vaccine you received. If you do not recall this information and you have a Manitoba health card, you can locate it at: sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/test-results/. If your immunization record is incomplete or incorrect, or you received a COVID-19 vaccination outside of Manitoba, you can have your file updated by completing and submitting this e-form.

You will need to complete a consent form for every COVID-19 vaccine you receive. Filling out the form in advance can make it faster for you to get your vaccine. Click here to fill out and print your consent form




Children aged 5 to 11


Children in this age group are eligible to receive a primary COVID-19 vaccine series of a pediatric Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. A primary series consists of two doses. Booster doses are not recommended for this age group at this time.

Children must be five years old at the time of their immunization appointment. The interval between first and second doses for most children is eight weeks. Parents/guardians who want their child to receive their second dose sooner (after 21 days but before eight weeks) must discuss the risks and benefits with their immunizer or health care provider before vaccination, to ensure the parent/guardian understands the risks of an earlier second dose.

For children living in First Nations communities, the recommended interval is 21 days for the pediatric Pfizer vaccine and 28 days for the Moderna vaccine.

Children who are 5 years old and before their sixth birthday are only authorized to receive the pediatric Pfizer vaccine. Children who are between 6 and 11 years of age can receive either the pediatric Pfizer vaccine or the Moderna vaccine. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends Pfizer for children 5 to 11 years of age because there is more data available from the real-world use of this vaccine.




Youth aged 12 to 17


Youth in this age group are eligible to receive a primary COVID-19 vaccine series. A primary series consists of two doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

A first booster (third dose) of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine can be given to adolescents 12 to 17 years of age, but is recommended for those who:

  • have an underlying medical condition that puts them at high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, including adolescents who are immunocompromised and have already received an additional vaccine dose;
  • are residents of congregate living settings;
  • belong to racialized and/or marginalized communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

The timeline to receive a booster dose is six months after the last dose in the primary series.

Youth aged 12 to 17 are recommended to receive Pfizer for all doses, due to a lower risk of myocarditis/pericarditis with this vaccine as compared to Moderna in this age group.




Adults aged 18+


All adults aged 18 and older are eligible to receive a primary COVID-19 vaccine series and a booster dose. A primary series consists of two doses.

Manitoba recommends that adults receive the second dose eight weeks after their first dose. However, the minimum timeframe between doses is 28 days. This allows individuals more flexibility in choosing the timing of their second dose of vaccine based on their own circumstances. A longer time period between doses provides a stronger immune response.

The timeline to receive a booster dose is six months after the last COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Some Manitobans are eligible to get a second booster dose, based on specific criteria. Please review this section for more information.

Adults under the age of 30 are recommended to receive Pfizer for all doses, due to a lower risk of myocarditis/pericarditis with this vaccine as compared to Moderna in this age group.

Adults aged 30 years and older can get either mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna).

  • For the primary series (first and second dose), it is recommended to get the same mRNA vaccine, if available. However, getting a combination of mRNA vaccines is both safe and effective, and either (Pfizer or Moderna) can be offered if:
    • the same mRNA vaccine is not available,
    • your previous dose was with a non-mRNA vaccine (e.g. AstraZeneca, Janssen), or
    • the last dose is unknown.
  • For booster doses, either mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) can be given, regardless of the COVID-19 vaccines previously given.

Some Manitobans are eligible for a second booster (fourth dose) of vaccine, based on specific criteria. Review this section for more information.




Children, Youth and Adults who are Immunocompromised


For the purposes of COVID-19 vaccine recommendations, the following individuals are considered moderately to severely immunocompromised due to a medical condition and/or treatment:

  • are receiving active chemotherapy (or immunotherapy) for cancer;
  • have received a solid organ transplant and are currently receiving chemotherapy or other immunosuppressive therapy;
  • were born with moderate or severe dysfunction of their immune system;
  • are living with untreated or advanced HIV-AIDS; or
  • are taking certain medications that severely affect the immune system.

The following people should talk to their doctor to see whether they are considered to be immunocompromised:

  • receiving hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis;
  • are on the list to receive a solid organ transplant; or
  • have a ventricular assist device (VAD).

Children, youth and adults who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are recommended to receive a primary series of COVID-19 vaccine that consists of three doses. In these situations, the third dose requires a prescription and must be given at least 28 days after the second dose.

Some immunocompromised Manitobans may be eligible for a second booster of vaccine if they also meet other specific criteria. For immunocompromised people, the second booster would be their fifth dose. Please review section on second booster doses for more information.




Immunization after a COVID-19 infection


It is recommended that Manitobans who have been infected with COVID-19 wait three months after infection before getting their next dose of COVID-19 vaccine. But at minimum, people need to wait until their symptoms are gone and period of isolation is over before getting their next dose of COVID-19 vaccine.




Immunization for travel purposes


Individuals who have plans to travel to a destination that only accepts certain vaccines or combinations of vaccine require a prescription to receive their booster dose earlier than the recommended six month timeline.




Second booster recommendations


Based on recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, the following individuals are eligible to receive a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine:

  • residents of personal care homes and elderly persons housing congregate living sites (such as supportive housing and assisted living) with no age limit;
  • individuals aged 70 or older who live in the community; and
  • First Nations, Inuit and Metis people aged 50 or older, regardless of where they live.

The second booster should be Pfizer or Moderna and given at least six months after the last booster dose.




Who is considered moderately to severely immunocompromised


People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised due to a medical condition and/or treatment include those who:

  • are receiving active chemotherapy (or immunotherapy) for cancer;
  • have received a solid organ transplant and are currently receiving chemotherapy or other immunosuppressive therapy;
  • were born with moderate or severe dysfunction of their immune system;
  • are living with untreated or advanced HIV-AIDS; or
  • are taking certain medications that severely affect the immune system.  

The following people should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of an additional dose:

  • receiving hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis;
  • on the list to receive a solid organ transplant; or
  • have a ventricular assist device (VAD).   




Medical exemptions


For the vast majority of people, the COVID-19 vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect themselves and others against the virus. It is recommended that all eligible individuals who live, work or study in Manitoba be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, there are a very small number of people who can’t or shouldn’t be immunized, or need to delay vaccination, due to their medical history.

Only people who qualify and have had their medical situation confirmed by a specialist can receive an exemption. These are the only medical conditions or situations that are eligible to be considered:

  • diagnosed with myocarditis or pericarditis within seven days of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, confirmed by a licensed cardiologist;
  • diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome within 42 days of COVID-19 vaccination, confirmed by a licensed neurologist;
  • experienced a serious adverse event following immunization after a dose of COVID-19 vaccine where a licensed provincial medical officer of health has recommended against further vaccination, confirmed by a licensed provincial medical officer of health;
  • acute diagnosis of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia confirmed by a CancerCare Manitoba (CCMB) hematologist, where another viral vector COVID-19 vaccine should not be provided but an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be feasible, approved by a CCMB hematologist;
  • CAR-T therapy for cancer within the last three months, confirmed by a CCMB hematologist or oncologist;
  • stem cell transplant within the last three months, confirmed by a CCMB hematologist  or oncologist;
  • solid organ transplant recipients, including those who within two weeks of transplant or one month post-transplant, confirmed by the licensed specialist supervising the transplant;
  • actively receiving anti-cancer drug therapy, which may mean there is a benefit to deferring vaccination to a later date, though this should be weighed against the risks of the person being infected by COVID-19, as directed by a CCMB oncologist or hematologist;
  • taking one or more of the following medications within the last six months: alemtuzumab, anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG)/thymoglobulin, basiliximab, blinatumomab, obinatuzuamb, ocrelizumab, ofatumumab, cyclophosphamide or rituximab which may mean there is a benefit to deferring vaccination to a later date, though this should be weighed against the risks of the person being infected by COVID-19, as directed by a CCMB oncologist or hematologist; or
  • severe allergy or anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components that cannot be mitigated, confirmed by a licensed allergist at the Health Sciences Centre Allergy Clinic.

If you feel you may qualify based on this list, schedule an appointment with your health care provider and/or your specialist. They will review the exemption criteria with you to determine if you qualify. Only a medical specialist (physician) can request a medical exemption from the province. Do not contact or request a referral to a specialist unless you meet one of the criteria listed.

Exemptions can only be made by specialists who are:

  • registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba; and,
  • certified by and in good standing with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in the relevant specialty.

Individuals cannot submit their own requests for exemption.

Once an exemption is submitted, information about the exemption will be entered into the provincial immunization database, including whether the exemption is permanent or temporary.

You will be able to request your digital or physical Manitoba immunization card approximately seven to 14 business days after your exemption is submitted. The card and the display shown after scanning the QR code will be identical to those currently used by fully immunized people.

This will help protect your private health information, while also keeping a simple, consistent process for venues and events that must validate immunization status. For more information, visit: Province of Manitoba | For Residents.

Manitoba’s exemption process only applies within the province, for events and venues that may require proof of immunization to attend or participate. It does not apply to any immunization requirements set by the Government of Canada, including for travel on planes, trains and cruises. For Government of Canada immunization requirements, please visit COVID-19: Proof of vaccination in Canada and for international travel for Canadians - Canada.ca or COVID-19 Boarding flights and trains in Canada - Travel.gc.ca