Manitoba Vaccination News – January 6/2022

Manitoba’s Public Health and Vaccine Implementation Task Force teams have recently released the following updates about COVID-19 vaccines:

Vaccines for Youth and Young Adults (Ages 12 to 29): Due to a shortage of the Pfizer vaccine, on January 5, 2022, the Province announced that all adults aged 30 years or older will be offered the Moderna vaccine for their 1st, 2nd and 3rd dose. This is being done to ensure that Pfizer can be available for individuals aged 12-29. Manitoba is following NACI guidance that, out of an abundance of caution, young people aged 12 to 29 should get Pfizer for their first and second doses because the risk of myocarditis/pericarditis – an extremely rare and temporary swelling of heart tissues — appears to be lower with Pfizer than it is with Moderna. Both vaccines are safe and effective. If only Moderna is available, or if you choose it, it’s still a very safe and effective option.

3rd Doses for Manitobans 18+: To ensure the strongest immune response possible, the timeline between the second and third dose is being shortened for some individuals. Anyone aged 50 or older or those aged 18 or older who live in a First Nations community who received their second dose a minimum of 5 months ago are now strongly encouraged to receive their third dose. A six month timeframe between second and third doses continues to be recommended for most other eligible Manitobans.

  • Individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised or have travel plans to a destination that only accepts certain vaccines or combinations of vaccine require a prescription to receive a third dose earlier than six months, unless they meet the criteria noted above. 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.
  • Individuals who are unsure of the date of their last immunization can check their record here.

Vaccines for Children (Ages 5 to 11): A pediatric Pfizer vaccine has been approved for children aged five to 11. Parents and caregivers can make first and second dose appointments for eligible children online or by calling 1-844-626-8222. This vaccine is also available from medical clinics, pharmacies and other locations. Children must be five years old at the time the appointment for the first dose is booked. The interval between first and second doses should be 56 days (eight weeks), or a minimum of 21 days for children living in First Nations communities. Previously, the recommendation was 28 days between doses (four weeks). The longer time period between doses has been shown to provide a stronger immune response over time. However, the minimum timeframe remains at 28 days, so individuals will be able to choose the timing of vaccine schedule based on their own circumstances.

4th Doses: A fourth/booster dose is now recommended for moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals. This should be given at least six months after the last dose received.

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