Immunocompromised people in Manitoba, those looking to travel can get third COVID-19 vaccine dose

Manitobans with certain conditions that leave them immunocompromised will be able to receive a third dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, along with those who are looking to travel.

Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of Manitoba’s vaccine task force, said on Wednesday the third dose will be available to people with certain conditions, including those who are receiving chemotherapy, or those who wish to receive a third dose for travel purposes.

A third dose will also be available for Manitobans who have received one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not approved by Health Canada.

The process takes effect Wednesday.

Reimer said the decision follows guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization released last week.

“For those who are immunocompromised, two doses of the vaccine may not provide adequate defence against COVID-19, particularly given concerns of the highly contagious Delta variant,” she said.

In addition to those receiving chemotherapy, other medical conditions that are accepted include people who have received a solid organ transplant, people living with untreated or advanced HIV-AIDS, and people taking medications that severely affect their immune system.

A full list can be found online.

People who are immunocompromised, or would like to receive the third dose for travel purposes, must be immunized by their health-care provider.

Those who received a vaccine not approved by Health Canada can be immunized at pop-up sites, vaccine clinics, or by their health-care provider.

The third dose should be given a minimum of 28 days after the most recent COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Reimer said the third dose is primarily for people who haven’t received enough of an immune response after two doses.

“We’re not talking about the general public, or people with an immune system that functions normally, we’re talking about people who really need that additional trigger before their immune system is able to respond in a way that is more protective for them,” she said.