Across Canada, people are currently eligible for a third dose as part of their primary vaccination series if they are both at high risk of an inadequate response to two doses and of severe disease or death if they are infected.
Some public health authorities have recommended a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for a small minority of people living with HIV who have untreated infection or are severely immunocompromised. This does not apply to the majority of people living with HIV in Canada. If you have any questions about your own medical situation, please consult your healthcare provider.
Only a few provinces provide clear criteria for what they consider to be uncontrolled:
- Quebec recommends a third dose for those with CD4 count below 500/mm3, or who are not on treatment.
- Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia recommend one for those below 200/mm3.
- British Columbia provides a detailed list of criteria for those who are eligible: prior AIDS defining illness since 2021 or prior CD4 count ≤ 200/mm3 since 2021 or prior CD4 fraction ≤ 15% (percentage of white blood cells that are CD4 cells) since 2021 or any detectable plasma viral load since January 2021 or living with HIV and 65 years or older or HIV acquired at or around birth.
- Ontario recommends a three-dose primary series for people living with HIV who have experienced prior AIDS defining illness or prior CD4 count ≤ 200/mm3 or prior CD4 fraction ≤ 15% (percentage of white blood cells that are CD4 cells) or (in children 5–11 years) HIV acquired at birth.
In Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and the Yukon, people with untreated or advanced HIV, or AIDS, are eligible for a third dose. Advanced HIV or AIDS is generally diagnosed when CD4 count is below 200/mm3 (though it can occur at higher CD4 counts), CD4 fraction (percentage of white blood cells that are CD4 cells) is less than 14%, or an AIDS-defining illness has occurred.
In many places across Canada, age, Indigenous ethinicity, and underlying medical conditions can also play a roll in accessing additional doses sooner. Check the links above to learn more about the details for your region.