Who should get a COVID-19 booster dose?

Question: 

Who should get a COVID-19 booster dose?  

Answer: 
In B.C., a booster dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine is recommended for those who are 12 years of age and older at least 6 months after completion of the initial series.  If you got the Janssen vaccine, you can get a booster 2 months after your vaccine (this is because studies show that the Janssen vaccine is less effective and protection doesn’t last as long as the other COVID-19 vaccines).
 
 
People who are pregnant
 
Pregnant people 12 years and older can get a booster dose 2 months (8 weeks) after their second dose. You can be at any stage of your pregnancy. If you haven't received an invite yet, call 1-833-838-2323 and self-identify as pregnant. Learn more
 
 
Second booster dose
 
To protect people most at risk, a second booster is currently being offered to give extra protection against severe outcomes of COVID-19. You can get your second booster 6 months after the date of your first booster.
 
A second booster dose is being offered now to: 
 
  • People 70 years of age and older. 
  • People who live in long-term care (or are awaiting placement in long-term care).
  • Indigenous people 55 years of age and older. 

Fall 2022 booster dose

B.C. is making plans to offer everyone 12+ a fall booster dose. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has been clear this approach will provide the best protection in the fall and winter when we’re all spending more time inside and respiratory illness is passed around our communities. Everyone 12 + will be sent a personalized booking invitation this fall. 
 

 

Some people may have unique needs and getting a booster dose in July or August might be best for them. This is okay, but not generally recommended. If you're 18 or older and you have unique needs, the call centre can help you book an appointment. Don’t phone until you’ve received a fall booster update email or SMS. 

Getting a booster dose after having COVID-19

You should get a booster dose even if you've already had COVID-19. The vaccine provides more reliable protection than having COVID-19.
 
If you've recently had a positive COVID-19 test result, you can wait up to 3 months for your booster dose or get it any time after your symptoms have passed. It is not harmful to get vaccinated and it will give you a good boost to your protection. 
 
 
Why you need a booster dose
 
A booster dose is an additional shot of vaccine that helps you maintain and lengthen your protection against severe outcomes of COVID-19. 
 
 
Which vaccine should you get for your booster dose?
 
You will be given an mRNA vaccine, either Moderna or Pfizer, as mRNA vaccines provide stronger protection. Novavax is available for those who are unable to receive an mRNA vaccine or those who prefer to get a non-mRNA vaccine. If you want a non-mRNA vaccine for your booster dose, you can call 1-833-838-2323 to ask to be added to the non-mRNA waitlist. 
 
There is no need for your booster to be the same brand as your previous vaccines. Getting an mRNA vaccine booster is highly effective and safe, even if you received a non-mRNA vaccine for a previous dose.
 
 
How can I get my booster dose?
 
Make sure you are registered with the Get Vaccinated system. Once you receive your invitation, use the confirmation number to book online or by phone. If you can't find your confirmation number, phone the call centre at 1-833-838-2323. Appointments are available in community pharmacies and health authority clinics all over BC at a time to fit your schedule.
 
People living in long-term care and assisted living will get their booster doses from a health care worker who visits them. 
 
 
Where can I learn more?
 
Learn more about booster doses at gov.bc.ca/booster.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date last reviewed: 
Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022