Canada's provinces are taking differing approaches to rolling out fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Some are offering the second boosters to all adults in response to the highly contagious BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron, while others are keeping access limited for now with an eye to the fall.
Here are the eligibility guidelines for every province and territory:
In Ontario, adults aged 18 to 59 can book a fourth dose as of July 14, but the province's top doctor says healthy residents in that age group can wait until the fall for a new shot that's expected to better target Omicron variants. Those who are 60 and older, immunocompromised or Indigenous adults have been eligible since April.
Adults in Quebec have been able to get a second booster shot since May, three months after their first booster. Those who are 12 years of age and older and on dialysis or have a compromised immune system are also eligible.
New Brunswick expanded eligibility for fourth doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to include all adults as of July 12. Residents 18 and older can obtain a second booster of COVID-19 vaccine if at least five months have passed since their third shot.
Nova Scotia expanded vaccine eligibility to adults 50 and older as of July 8, but is recommending residents wait until the fall to get it. Second booster doses are also available to residents of long-term and residential care facilities.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Newfoundland and Labrador is lowering the minimum age for second boosters to 50 from 70 as of July 20. Those currently eligible include people aged 70 and older, those living in congregate settings for seniors, as well as Indigenous people or individuals living in a remote or isolated Indigenous community aged 18 and up. The interval between the two booster shots is 20 weeks.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Prince Edward Island expanded eligibility for a fourth shot to every resident aged 12 and up on July 6. Second boosters were previously only available to those over the age of 60 and immunocompromised people.
Since May, Manitoba has been offering second boosters to those aged 50 and up, First Nations, Inuit and Métis people aged 30 and up and residents of any age who live in personal care homes or congregate living sites. People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised between the ages of 18 and 49 are also eligible.
Albertans have been able to receive a fourth dose since April if they are 70 years of age or older, First Nations, Métis or Inuit and 65 and older, or living in congregate care settings. Those 12 and older who require additional doses to meet international travel rules are also eligible.
Saskatchewan residents 50 years of age and older have been able to receive a fourth dose, four months after receiving their third, since April. Those with designated health conditions and residents of long-term care and personal care homes are also eligible.
British Columbia has announced that a fourth dose will be available to all residents aged 12 and up starting in the fall. Residents over the age of 65, Indigenous people 55 and older, and immunocompromised or vulnerable individuals are receiving invitations to book appointments. Those living in long-term care and assisted living have already been offered shots.
All Yukon residents aged 18 and older can book a fourth shot as of July 7 as long as six months have passed since their third shot.
Nunavut has been offering a fourth dose to all residents aged 18 and older since May if they got their last dose four and a half months ago.
Northwest Territories has been doling out fourth doses to all individuals aged 50 and older since May as well as immunocompromised people 12 and up.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 13, 2022.
The Canadian Press