COVID-19 Vaccine
 

COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Criteria


All people in Manitoba aged 5+ are eligible to be immunized against COVID-19. This page provides more information about eligibility, third / booster doses, special guidance for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, medical exemptions, recommendations on the type of vaccine people should receive, and other guidance.


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Other important information

Make your vaccine appointment at a provincial site 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.

To get your second or third shot, you will need to know when you received your first dose 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, it is available at: sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/test-results/.  If your immunization record is incomplete or incorrect, or you received a first dose outside of Manitoba, fill in this e-form to submit your information.

You need to complete a consent form for every COVID-19 vaccine you receive - first, second, and third dose. Filling out the form in advance will also 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 first and second dose of a pediatric Pfizer vaccine. 

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 interval is 21 days.  

A third dose is not offered to this age group unless the child is moderately to severely immunocompromised.  This requires a prescription and must be given at least 28 days after their second dose. 




Youth aged 12 to 17


All youth aged 12 to 17 are eligible to receive a first and second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.  

Manitoba recommends that youth 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. 

Additional doses are not recommended for this age group unless the young person is moderately to severely immunocompromised.  In these situations, a total of four mRNA vaccine doses are recommended, with at least 28 days between the second and third dose, and at least six months between the third and fourth dose.  These doses require a prescription and a health care provider can provide more information about the best time to be immunized based on a review of the youth’s medical history and personal circumstances.




Adults aged 18+


All adults aged 18 and older are eligible to receive a first, second and third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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 third dose is:

  • five months after the second dose for individuals aged 50+;
  • five months after the second dose for individuals aged 18+ who live in a First Nations community; or
  • six months after the second dose all other adults.

Adults who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are recommended to receive a total of four COVID-19 vaccines.  In these situations, the third dose requires a prescription and must be given at least 28 days after the second dose.  The fourth dose should be given:

  • five months after the second dose for individuals aged 50+;
  • five months after the second dose for individuals aged 18+ who live in a First Nations community; or
  • six months after the second dose all other adults.



Immunization after a COVID-19 infection


If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you can be vaccinated once you are no longer considered infectious, have completed your isolation period, and after symptoms have resolved.

Earlier in the vaccine campaign, the province recommended waiting for three months after infection.  However, this was due to relatively limited supply of the vaccine in the province, and is no longer the case.



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 third dose earlier than the provincial recommendations. 

If you have already received two doses of the same mRNA vaccine, you should not be offered a third dose earlier than provincial recommendations for travel purposes.




Third dose recommendations


While all adults aged 18+ are eligible to receive a third dose, the province recommends it for adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19, their caregivers and close/household contacts. This includes:

  • people aged 50 years and older;
  • residents of personal care homes or congregate elderly person housing sites (e.g., assisted living);
  • individuals with the following chronic health conditions:
    • an immune system moderately to severely weakened by disease or medical treatment (manitoba.ca/covid19/vaccine/eligibility-criteria.html#immunocompromised);
    • cardiac or pulmonary disorders (ex: cystic fibrosis);
    • neurologic or neurodevelopmental conditions;
    • diabetes and other metabolic diseases;
    • renal or liver disease;
    • anemia or hemoglobinopthy;
    • asplenia or hyposplenism (including sickle cell disease);
    • obesity (body mass index ≥ 40);
    • active tuberculosis (current or previous) OR current latent tuberculosis (LTBI); or
    • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), irrespective of CD4 count.
  • pregnant individuals;
  • health care personnel who have direct contact with patients, residents or clients;
  • First Nation, Métis and Inuit people;
  • individuals living north of the 53rd parallel of latitude or in a remote/isolated community;
  • individuals living or working in a congregate living facility (e.g., correctional facilities, group homes, homeless shelters);
  • individuals experiencing homelessness;
  • individuals receiving homecare OR receiving any level of Community Living Disability Service support (or, as per family physician determination of equivalent levels of family support);
  • individuals who have only received:
    • A viral vector vaccine (AstraZeneca or Janssen); or
    • One or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is not approved by Health Canada; or
  • as recommended by a health care provider.

More generally, to assess the individual risks and benefits of getting a booster dose to determine if this is right for you, consider your:

  • risk of getting really sick from COVID-19 and experiencing complications;
  • risk of exposure;
  • risk of declining protection from dose 1 and 2, particularly when:
    • your first two doses were administered closely together (emerging data suggests eight weeks between dose 1 and dose 2 provides better protection against COVID-19); or
    • a long time has passed since you received your last dose (e.g., greater than 6 months);
  • risk as it pertains to vaccine safety, particularly around the limited evidence of myocarditis/pericarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle/lining around the heart) following a third dose; and
  • use in Canada and worldwide: The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends a third dose for certain populations (e.g., residents of personal care homes). Early data indicates booster/third doses may enhance protection and is as safe as the second dose.



Vaccine product recommendations


Children aged 5 to 11 should receive the pediatric Pfizer vaccine.

Individuals 12 to 29 years of age are recommended to receive Pfizer for their first, second and third doses.  While the risk of myocarditis or pericarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle or lining around the heart) is rare with both mRNA vaccines, it appears to be even lower with Pfizer than it is with Moderna in this age group.  Data on myocarditis and pericarditis risk following a third dose is limited, but suggests a lower risk than what has been seen following dose two.  If Pfizer is not readily available, Moderna can be offered to this age group because the benefits of protection from COVID-19 outweigh the potential of this rare side effect.

Both Moderna and Pfizer can be used for adults in Manitoba over the age of 30.  At this time, all adults ages 30 years or older will be offered the Moderna vaccine for their first, second or third dose. This will help ensure enough Pfizer remains available for people ages 12 to 29. People over the age of 30 did not experience the same increased risk of these rare side effects, regardless of which vaccine they received.

Moderna for Manitobans age 30+

Where possible, public health officials recommend that people get the same mRNA product for all doses, unless the product is not readily available, in which case either mRNA vaccine product can be used and vaccination should not be delayed. Given the current supply situation, Pfizer doses will not be readily available for those over 30 years of age at this time.

If your first dose was AstraZeneca , it’s recommended you receive an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine for your next doses. If you cannot receive an mRNA for any reason, you may book an AstraZeneca shot at one of the medical clinics or pharmacies serving as a regional hub instead. 




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