Manitoba widens eligibility for 4th doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Manitoba is widening eligibility criteria for fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines to everyone age 70 and older and Indigenous people 50 and up.

All residents of personal care homes and assisted living facilities are also now eligible to receive fourth doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, a news release issued Wednesday says.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis people age 50 or older are eligible to receive a fourth dose regardless of where they live.

The move is based on recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), which advised provincial governments on Tuesday to prepare to offer second booster doses for people 80 and older.

NACI said while a fourth vaccine dose is expected to greatly benefit adults 80 and up, regions may also consider offering a second COVID-19 booster dose to adults age 70 to 79.

Fourth doses of the vaccine for immunocompromised people were recommended by the province last December.

The second booster should be from Moderna or Pfizer and given at least six months after the previous booster dose, the province said.

Second boosters will be offered in Manitoba as early as mid-April and will remain available over the coming months. The timing is based on previous vaccine campaigns for eligible groups, the province said in the release.

A second booster will be the fifth dose for immunocompromised people who received an initial series of three vaccine doses, the province said, and should be given six months after they received their first booster.