Public health officials in Manitoba now recommending a booster shot against COVID-19 for some 12 to 17-year-olds.

Dr. Joss Reimer, Head of Manitoba's Vaccine Implementation Task Force says today's recommendation follows guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) that some young people receive a third dose if they are at high risk of severe outcomes due to medical or social risk factors.

The third dose will be offered at least six months after the second dose. Several eligibility factors define who among this age group can get this booster:

underlying medical conditions which put them at increased risk;
belonging to racialized or marginalized communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19;
living in shelters, group homes and correctional facilities;
immunocompromised and have received three doses (so their next dose would be a fourth dose).

Neither the province nor NACI is recommending boosters for the general population of youth aged 12 to 17.

Public health will continue to use Pfizer, to minimize the risk associated with myocarditis and/or pericarditis. It says this inflammation of heart tissues is extremely rare and mild when it occurs after vaccination, and it almost always fully resolves without a severe reaction. Public health says preliminary safety data from the real-world use of boosters in teens showed no additional safety concerns.