Booster doses are additional doses given to specific groups based on age and risk. These individuals most likely had a good response to the first and second doses, but over time, their protection may have decreased and fallen below an ideal level.
The goal of booster doses is to restore this protection. Individuals who are at higher risk are encouraged to get a booster dose as soon as they are eligible.
If you are immunocompromised (i.e. condition, therapy/treatment or medication) you are eligible for a third dose. See the Information on COVID-19 Vaccine Third Doses for more details.
What’s the difference between third and booster doses?
The type and amount of vaccine given are the same (with limited exceptions) whether you are a receiving a third dose or a booster - the difference is the reason why you are getting this extra dose.
Who is eligible for a booster dose?
If it has been at least 168 days since your second dose, and you belong to at least one of the groups listed below, you are eligible to make an appointment for a booster dose. To see when you are eligible to book a booster appointment based on the date of your second dose, see the COVID-19 Booster Dose Eligibility by date chart for easy reference.
- Those aged 70 and older (born 1951 or earlier).
- Individuals who live in a long-term care home, a retirement home or an Elder Care Lodge.
- Health care workers.
- Designated essential caregivers in specific congregate settings.
- Indigenous adults and their non-Indigenous household members.
- Those who received 2 doses of the AstraZeneca Vaxzevria vaccine or 1 dose of the Janssen vaccine.
- Starting Monday, December 13, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., individuals aged 50 and over will be eligible to book a booster dose appointment, as long as it's been 168 days since they received their second dose.
What vaccines are used for the booster doses?
- Both the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty and Moderna Spikevax vaccines can be given for booster doses.
- Individuals receiving a Moderna Spikevax booster who are under 70 years of age will receive a half dose (50 mcg).
- Individuals receiving a Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty booster will receive a full dose (30 mcg) regardless of their age.
When am I eligible and how do I get a booster dose?
NOTE: In order to receive a booster dose, an appointment must be made. Walk-ins are not available for boosters at this time.