More Manitobans are now eligible to receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Joss Reimer, with our province's Vaccine Implementation Task Force, announced today that all adults are now eligible. A minimum of six months is required between second and third doses, except in very limited circumstances. Those circumstances could include someone who is moderately to severely immunocompromised or an individual requiring the third dose for travel purposes.

But, Dr. Reimer explains that Manitoba is moving away from using eligibility criteria to restrict who can and cannot receive a booster dose. Instead, everyone over the age of 18 who received their second dose six months ago or longer is now able to book an appointment online, through the province's call centre or through their primary care physician or pharmacist. She says however there are specific groups of people for whom the third dose is actually recommended. This group includes seniors aged 70 and older, the immunocompromised, Indigenous people living in Manitoba, people with certain chronic health conditions and frontline health care workers.

Meanwhile, as early as next week, an initial shipment of 2,250 doses of the one-dose Janssen vaccine will be available at some pharmacies and medical clinics. The vaccine is approved for individuals aged 18 and older. Individuals are considered fully immunized 14 days after receiving their single dose. However, it is recommended that a second dose of an mRNA vaccine be given to provide the best protection possible.

Dr. Reimer says some Manitobans have expressed interest in this vaccine. She notes more details will be made available shortly but says the plan is for this vaccine to be available at select medical clinics and pharmacies.