COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility Criteria

First and Second Doses

Updated - November 19, 2021

A pediatric Pfizer vaccine has been approved for children aged five to 11. Manitoba has expanded vaccine eligibility to this age group.

Parents and caregivers can begin making first-dose appointments for eligible children on Monday, Nov. 22 at 6 a.m. online or by calling 1-844-626-8222. Children must be five years old at the time the appointment is booked.

Anyone under 18 years of age should receive the Pfizer vaccine.

NEW: Manitoba is now recommending that individuals receive their second dose of vaccine 56 days (eight weeks) after their first dose.  Previously, the recommendation was 28 days (four weeks).  The longer time period between doses has been shown to provide a stronger immune response over time. However, the minimum time frame remains at 28 days, so individuals will be able to choose the timing of vaccine schedule based on their own circumstances.  

For more information about where to get your vaccine, visit the Vaccine Shot Finder.

Third Doses

Updated - November 17, 2021

All adults aged 18 or older can receive a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. These are available at any location that offers the COVID-19 vaccine.

For most people, the third dose must be given a minimum of six months after their second dose, except in very limited circumstances. Individuals who are unsure of the date of their last immunization can check their record here.

You will need a prescription from a doctor if you are requesting your third dose earlier than six months.  This could be because you are moderately to severely immunocompromised.  It could also be because you have travel plans and your travel destination only accepts certain vaccines or combinations of vaccine.  This approach is not based on an increased risk related to travel generally, or travel to certain destinations.  For clarity, if you received two doses of the same mRNA vaccine, you should not be offered a third dose earlier than six months for travel.

The province recommends a third dose for adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19, their caregivers and close/household contacts, which includes:

  • people aged 18 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 (
    • 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)
    • 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 third 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)
    • 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.
  • 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 from some countries indicates booster/third doses may enhance protection and is as safe as the second dose.

Recommended vaccines for third dose

Choose an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) for all third doses. Generally, the third dose should be with the same mRNA vaccine as the previous dose (i.e., if you received Pfizer for your second dose, you should receive Pfizer for your third dose). If the same mRNA vaccine is not available or the second dose vaccine is unknown, another mRNA vaccine will be offered.

If you are immunocompromised, you should talk to your doctor about which mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is right for you. Your doctor can advise you based on the emerging evidence and taking into consideration your immunization and medical history as well as personal circumstances.

Individuals who received only viral vector vaccines (AstraZeneca or Janssen) should get either Pfizer OR Moderna for their additional dose.

More information on immunocompromised people and third doses

For the purpose of receiving a third dose, 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.   

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 -

Consent Forms

You will need to fill out and print a consent form for your vaccine. This will ensure any changes in your health status can be reviewed before your second dose; providers will have the most up-to-date information in case you are getting a different vaccine health; andprofessionals can review if you had an allergic reactions to a previous dose of the vaccine.

Filling out the form in advance will also make it faster for you to get your vaccine. Click here to fill out and print the consent forms.

More Information

If your first dose was AstraZeneca, it’s recommended that you book an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine for your next dose. 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.  Find the one nearest you here:

Immunization Records
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 - Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD. If you do not recall this information and you have a Manitoba Health card, go to: to access this information.  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.

Transportation Support
If you are a senior or have mobility issues and need help getting to your appointment at a clinic or pharmacy, call 211 for available transportation options in your area.

Vaccine Finder Map
Check this interactive map for the most convenient location for you to get your vaccine.  Walk-ins are available at many locations, and you can also book your appointment online or by calling 1-844-MAN-VACC (1-844-626-8222).