COVID-19 vaccine booster eligibility by province and territory in Canada
TORONTO -- The availability of booster shots and third doses of COVID-19 vaccines is a hot topic for many Canadians as additional doses are being rolled out for certain populations depending on their province or territory of residence.
Some health experts say a third shot may be key in protecting against emerging variants that appear to be better at evading vaccines, including Omicron.
Health Canada regulates drugs and vaccines in this country, while the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is the federal entity that provides advice to provinces and territories regarding use of the COVID-19 vaccines.
On Dec. 3, NACI recommended mRNA booster shots be administered to Canadians who are aged 50 and up, residents of long-term care homes for seniors or other congregate living settings that provide care to seniors, those who received two doses of the AstraZeneca or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines, and adult front-line health-care workers who have direct contact with patients, as well as adults who live in or come from First Nations, Inuit or Metis communities, six months after completing a primary vaccine course.
In addition, NACI says booster doses "may be offered" to people between the ages of 18 and 49 years old.
On Nov. 12, Health Canada approved the use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for booster shots in people aged 18 and up, to be given at least six months after finishing a primary vaccine course. The boosters contain a half-dose of the Moderna vaccine.
Health Canada on Nov. 9 authorized use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as a booster for all people 18 and older, to be administered at least six months after completing a primary vaccine course. These boosters contain a full dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
In early September, NACI recommended third vaccine doses be administered to certain immunocompromised individuals at least 28 days after their previous dose. Each province and territory has enacted a third-dose policy for immunocompromised people.
Third doses are considered part of a primary vaccine course, while boosters are meant to be given when vaccine effectiveness wanes and often, but not always, contain a smaller dosage.
Public opinion on the matter appears to sway in favour of booster shots. The vast majority of Canadians have expressed interest in one, according to a survey commissioned by CTV News, with 69 per cent of respondents saying they were interested and 15 per cent saying they were somewhat interested.
ELIGIBILITY FOR ADDITIONAL DOSES BY PROVINCE AND TERRITORY
This was updated with the latest booster shot eligibility requirements for all provinces and territories on Dec. 22, 2021.
Seniors aged 65 and up, Indigenous people aged 18 and up and people who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, as well as those who live in rural and remote Indigenous communities, are able to get an mRNA booster shot. Residents of independent living facilities or people who receive long-term home support are also eligible. Residents of independent living facilities and people who receive long-term home support are also eligible.
All health-care workers, including staff working in long-term care and assisted facilities or acute care hospitals, in addition to community health providers and physicians can get a booster at least six months after receiving their second dose.
Starting in January 2022, everyone aged 18 and up will be invited to get boosters between six and eight months after their primary vaccine course.
People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are also eligible for a third dose four weeks after their second one.
All Albertans aged 18 and up can book a booster shot five months after their second dose.
Immunocompromised individuals 12 years and older with specific conditions may be eligible for a third dose eight weeks after their second one.
Travellers to places where the AstraZeneca vaccine or mixed doses aren't recognized can get a third shot four weeks after their second dose and will be considered as having a booster dose. People who received two doses of AstraZeneca or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can also get an mRNA booster shot five months after their last dose if they haven't already received an additional mRNA dose for travel purposes.
All individuals aged 18 and up are eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot three months after their second dose. Those who received additional doses for travel purposes can get a booster if their last dose was administered less than three months after the preceding one.
Individuals born in 2009 or earlier with certain underlying health conditions can receive an additional dose dose five months following their second dose. Residents of long-term care, special care and personal care homes, as well as some people who may be immunocompromised, can receive a third dose 28 days after their second one. Those who are eligible for medical reasons will receive a letter from the ministry of health or their physician.
A third or even fourth dose is also available for those who may require it for international travel.
Manitoba is allowing all adults 18 and older to receive a COVID-19 booster shot a minimum of six months after a second dose. A third dose, followed by a booster, is also recommended for people who may be immunocompromised.
Individuals aged 60 or over, as well as those who live in a First Nations community, can get their third shot now if they received their second dose before July 10, even if it hasn't been a full six months.
All other Manitobans will need a prescription from their doctor to receive an additional dose before the end of the six-month period, whether they're immunocompromised or need one for travel to meet the demands of their destination's health regulators.
Anyone aged 18 and up can get a booster shot three months after completing a primary vaccine course.
A third dose is recommended as part of a primary vaccine course for some people who may be moderately to severely immunocompromised eight weeks after their second one.
Individuals with proof of immunization who underwent a one- or two-dose course of a COVID-19 vaccine not approved by Health Canada may receive an additional mRNA vaccine dose at least 28 days after the preceding one.
The province is also recommending individuals who received hematopoietic stem cell transplants, hematopoietic cell transplants (autologous or allogeneic) and recipients of CAR-T-cell therapy begin a new primary vaccine course due to the loss of immunity following therapy or transplant.
Starting Dec. 27, all people aged 60 and up will be eligible for boosters.
Currently, an mRNA booster shot is recommended for people aged 65 and up, residents of residential and long-term care centres, people living in private seniors' residences and people living in settings with a high percentage of vulnerable older adults (such as intermediate and family-type resources, as well as certain religious communities), three months after their second dose. Pregnant women, childcare staff, health and social services workers in contact with patients and residents of isolated or remote communities are also eligible.
An mRNA booster is also recommended for people who have only been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca, including the Covishield version, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. A booster is not required for those who have had COVID-19.
Individuals who are on dialysis or certain people with weakened immune systems, if they are aged 12 and up, are recommended a third mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose four weeks after the second dose. The additional dose is necessary even if the individual had COVID-19. A booster dose is also recommended for people aged 18 and older who are immunocompromised, on dialysis, or living with a chronic illness after this additional dose.
People aged 50 and up, First Nations individuals, residents of long-term care facilities and school personnel who received their second vaccine dose at least six months ago are able to get a booster shot. Health care workers, including those working in long-term care facilities, are also eligible.
Individuals aged 12 and up who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are able to get a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after their second one. This also applies to people who have received one or two doses of the AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, regardless of their age.
People who received mixed vaccine doses and must travel outside of North America for work, school or medical procedures can apply for an additional dose, but must show their travel is essential.
New Brunswickers who are eligible for the booster shot and received their second dose in June or earlier can get their booster shot any time in December, even if a full six months has not passed. Eligible individuals who received their second dose in July can also get their third dose anytime in January.
Those in Nova Scotia can receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine 168 days after they have been fully vaccinated if they're 50 or older, a frontline health-care worker or community health-care worker who works directly with patients, a designated caregiver of long-term care residents, immunocompromised and already received a third dose, or a resident of a long-term care facility.
Adults are also eligible for a booster shot if they have received two doses of AstraZeneca or the one-dose Janssen vaccine.
Members of First Nations or African Nova Scotian communities can get a booster dose as well. These doses are available at clinics organized in partnership with First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities.
Moderately to severely immunocompromised people who received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive a third mRNA vaccine dose and a booster shot 168 days afterward.
Residents who need to need an additional matching mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose to travel for work can apply for one by email.
Those who received a vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization but not Health Canada can also receive an additional mRNA vaccine dose.
Adults aged 18 and older are eligible to receive an mRNA booster dose at least six months after they received their second dose. Adults who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine or one dose of the Janssen vaccine are also able to get a booster shot.
Moderately to severely immunocompromised islanders are eligible to receive a third dose 28 days after their second one, followed by a booster shot six months later.
Those who must travel for work or school and received mixed vaccine doses are also eligible to get an additional matching mRNA vaccine dose.
Anyone who received one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not approved by Health Canada can get an additional dose as well.
People aged 18 and up are eligible for an mRNA booster dose at least 22 weeks after completing their primary vaccine course.
Moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals aged 30 years and older can get a third mRNA vaccine dose four weeks after their second one. Individuals in the 12-to-29-year age group may be offered the Moderna booster shot.
Those who underwent a mixed vaccine course and need to travel for work or a medical procedure outside of Canada or attend school outside of the country are also eligible for an additional dose.
Booster shots are available to all residents aged 18 and up and health-care workers six months after their primary vaccine course. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is available for those between the ages of 18 and 29, while the Moderna vaccine is available for those 30 and over. Third doses are also available to those who may be immunocompromised as part of their primary vaccine course.
All residents who are or will be 16 years of age within the calendar year of their dose are eligible for a booster shot six months after their second dose. People who are severely immunocompromised, as well as front-line health-care workers in Yellowknife and Behchoko, are eligible for a third dose instead of a booster.
COVID-19 booster shots are available to all residents 12 and up who received their second dose of an approved vaccine more than six months ago.
With files from CTVNews.ca's Hannah Jackson and Tom Yun