COVID-19 Vaccine Booster

COVID-19 Boosters

Just like a battery that runs low, the immunity that protects you against COVID-19 also wanes over time. Your booster dose recharges your immunity and protects you from severe symptoms, including the need for hospital or ICU care.

Who should get a COVID-19 booster dose?

Based on risk of experiencing serious illness from COVID-19 infection, there are different recommendations on first booster dose and second booster dose eligibility.

All people in Manitoba aged 12+ can get a first booster against COVID-19. For most, this is their third dose and should be given six months after their last dose.

A second booster is available to those who are at highest risk of experiencing severe illness from COVID-19. Based on recommendations of 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 people living in group living situations such as assisted living, regardless of age;
  • anyone aged 70 or older;
  • orFirst Nations, Inuit and Metis people aged 50 or older.

Your booster dose should be Pfizer or Moderna and given at least six months after the last COVID-19 vaccine dose.

For more detailed information about who should get a COVID-19 booster and when, visit https://manitoba.ca/covid19/vaccine/eligibility-criteria.html.

Why should I get a booster dose?

Evidence suggests that the protection provided by your primary COVID-19 vaccine series (two doses for most people) decreases over time. This means it has become less effective at preventing mild illness and provides reduced protection against severe illness, particularly for people who are increased risk of serious outcomes.

A booster dose can help restore this protection. If you’d like more information about booster doses, please review this fact sheet.

Book Appointment

Booking your appointment is easy! Book online or by phone. For interpreter services, call by phone and access service in over 100 languages.

I have had COVID-19.  Do I still need a booster dose?

If you’ve had a confirmed COVID-19 infection recently by testing positive on a PCR test or rapid antigen test, it is recommended to wait 3 months before getting a booster dose. 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.

Where can I get my COVID-19 booster dose?

Booster doses are available at many locations across the province, including medical clinics, pharmacies and vaccine sites. Use the online vaccine finder to locate the one that’s right for you, then click on the icon on the map for more information, including how to book your appointment.

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose Finder

Find an immunization site that is administering COVID-19 booster doses. Participating medical clinics, pharmacies, pop-up clinics and supersites are listed. When you find the location that’s right for you, click on the icon on the map for more information, including how to book your appointment.

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How Does the Vaccine Protect
You from Variants?

While the Omicron variant looks different, it is still a version of COVID-19. When you get a booster dose, your body is flooded with antibodies—even more than what you had after your second dose.

Antibodies are proteins that your immune system makes to help fight infection and protect you from getting sick in the future. While fewer of the antibodies in your system may recognize Omicron, there are such large numbers of them that your body may be able to fight off the infection altogether, or you may experience milder symptoms.

It’s important to remember that antibodies are not the only part of your immune system that works against Omicron. T cells are also very good at preventing serious illness, and it appears that T cells are still doing a good job of recognizing Omicron in those that are vaccinated thus far. When you receive a booster dose, your antibodies and the other parts of the immune response, like T cells, all become more effective.

Should Anyone
Be Getting a Fourth Dose?

People who are 12 and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are recommended to get a total of four doses, with eight weeks between dose 1 and 2, at least 28 days between dose 2 and 3, and at least six months between dose 3 and 4.

Fourth doses can be given at provincial vaccine clinics, pharmacies, and healthcare providers. A prescription from a health care provider is required if the vaccine is being administered anywhere but in a physician’s office. Please bring your prescription with you when you go for your fourth dose.

How Contagious is Omicron?

The Omicron variant was first reported to the World Health Organization on November 24, 2021. Less than one month later, several jurisdictions in Canada, including Manitoba, began reporting Omicron cases.

The United Kingdom Health Security Agency reported that their Omicron cases were doubling every three days. Ontario began reporting the same. This data suggests that Omicron is more contagious than both the original virus and the Delta variant.

With the Manitoba health care system nearing capacity, it is in everyone’s best interest that we all do what we can to limit the spread of COVID-19. The most important tool we have to fight COVID is vaccination—whether it’s getting your first, second, or third dose.

Be Informed

Protecting our community works best when we all do our part.