COVID Vaccines for Youth

Ages 12 – 17

All young people 12 years of age and older are eligible for a bivalent booster dose. Recipients must have received their primary series (usually two doses). The bivalent protects against original strains and omicron strains of the virus.

Recommended COVID-19 vaccines include:

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

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If for any reason the COVID-19 bivalent booster is not available or preferred, booster doses of the original COVID-19 vaccine are available.

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It is recommended that youth aged 12 to 17 get a bivalent booster dose. You must have received the primary series vaccine before receiving your booster dose.

Safe & Effective Vaccine

Health Canada has approved a COVID-19 bivalent vaccine for people aged 12 to 17. The new bivalent vaccine will provide broader protection against COVID-19 because it targets the original version of the virus as well as the omicron variant.

As immunity against COVID decreases over time, it is important to get a booster dose of the vaccine. Even if you have had a COVID infection, that immunity will also wane over time. That’s why it’s important to get a booster dose — to recharge your immunity. The bivalent booster dose provides stronger protection than the original booster dose.

Why Youth Should
Get Vaccinated

The COVID-19 vaccine helps protect young people against the virus, which can mean preventing infection but also reducing the severity of their symptoms if they do get COVID-19.

Immunization also helps to reduce the spread to their families, friends and within the community who may be more vulnerable to the effects of the disease.

Questions & Answers

Got questions about vaccines for kids? Get answers for commonly asked questions.


Book Appointment

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What is a Bivalent Vaccine?

The original COVID-19 vaccines are what is called monovalent – mono meaning one. They were made to protect against one strain of the COVID virus, the original strain. Since then, other variants of COVID have evolved, the omicron variant being the most predominant, and strains from it continue to spread in Manitoba.

The new bivalent vaccine — bi meaning two – has been developed for the original strain and omicron strain. This provides the broadest protection possible, and not just against those 2 strains but against other variants of the virus that are similar.

The annual flu shot is comparable. Every year, the flu shot is developed to target strains of influenza that are expected to be dominant that year, usually three of them.

The original versions of the COVID vaccine were the best we had available, they were safe and effective and helped to save lives. If, for any reason, individuals would like to receive the original booster dose, those will continue to be available. Visit eligibility criteria for more information.

Waiting Period After Booster or Infection

It is recommended that individuals wait six months from the last dose of vaccine or COVID-19 infection. This recommendation is due to clinical studies showing you get the best immune response, or the best protection, if the time frame between doses is a bit longer.

However, understanding that some individuals may be at increased risk of getting severely ill with COVID-19, individuals can book their bivalent booster if at least three months from the last dose of vaccine or infection.

Paired with Flu Vaccine

The bivalent vaccine can be given at the same time as other immunizations, including the seasonal flu vaccine, once it becomes available this fall.

How to Get Vaccinated

Young people can get immunized at supersites, pop-ups and community-based clinics wherever the Pfizer vaccine is offered.

To make it easier to get the COVID-19 vaccine, public health teams will begin offering immunization clinics in schools across the province starting in mid-September. Educators and parents will be notified when a COVID-19 immunization clinic will be happening in their school.

Planning is also underway to hold community pop-up clinics in a number of schools after school hours on the day of the school clinic. During this time, the clinics will be open to anyone from the community, adults and youth as long as they meet the current eligibility requirements.

Appointments for these clinics will be booked online or through the call centre, and some walk-in appointments will also be available. More information will be posted on the Vaccine Finder when details are confirmed.

Get Vaccinated
Get Vaccinated

Reasons for Youth to get COVID Vaccine


Other young people (born on or before December 31, 2009 up to the age of 15) can: 

  • attend their vaccine appointment with a parent, guardian or caregiver, or
  • bring a signed consent form at the time of their appointment. 

If the youth attends a supersite, pop-up clinic or other community clinic without a guardian and without a signed consent form, they must go through an informed consent process with an appropriate health care provider at the clinic.  This assesses their ability to consent to be immunized on their own. 

The process for consent will be different for the COVID-19 vaccine in school settings.

Informed consent is the foundation of all public health immunization programs for children and youth. Public health will ask for consent from a parent or guardian for all children and youth who wish to receive a COVID19 vaccine in schools during school hours. Only children with parental consent or children age 16 or older who can provide their own consent will participate in the clinics during school hours.

If any eligible students under the age of 16 ask to be vaccinated in the school during school hours and do not have consent from a parent or guardian, clinic staff will ask them to return after school hours.  In the meantime, clinic staff will try to contact the student’s parent or guardian to get their consent for vaccination.  If they are unable to contact a parent or guardian, clinic staff will assess whether the student meets the requirements as a mature minor when they return after school hours. 

Young people aged 16 and 17 can sign their own consent form for the COVID-19 vaccine.


Consent Form

COVID-19 Vaccine
Safety for Youth

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety for Youth

Clinical trials, which test the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, always use adult participants first for their studies. Now that clinical trials have been completed and reviewed with older children participating in the studies, Health Canada has approved the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children 12 years of age and older. In Manitoba, we are using the Pfizer vaccine for this age group.

The side effects of the vaccine for youth are generally the same as the side effects for adults. They may experience pain at the injection site (upper arm), and could feel more tired than usual. Headache, achy muscles or joints, and even fever and chills are also possible. These side effects are usually temporary and generally clear up within 48 hours.

Be Informed

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