Questions about Second Dose

It is important that every eligible Prince Edward Island resident 12 years of age and older get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine when it's their turn. Being fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus offers the most effective protection against severe infection, severe illness, and death.


How long after my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should I expect to receive my second dose?

Currently, PEI recommends waiting 6 weeks after your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before getting your second dose as this will provide you with increased and longer-lasting protection from the vaccine. There may be some people who should receive their second dose sooner (e.g. people with active cancers). With informed consent, some people may need or choose to get their second dose earlier than 6 weeks for essential reasons (e.g. unexpected travel for compassionate reasons).


How and when will I be notified of my second dose appointment?

Everyone who received their first does of the COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic on or before June 30, 2021, should have received notification about their second dose appointment. 

Individuals can book, reschedule or cancel their second dose vaccination appointment for a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic through our online booking partner at Skip The Waiting Room

Individuals who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a partner pharmacy, you will be contacted by that same pharmacy about their second second dose appointment.


When am I considered to be fully immunized?

You are considered fully immunized 14 days after you have received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada or a combination of two different COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada; currently those are:

  • 2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM
  • 2 doses of Moderna SpikevaxTM
  • 2 doses of AstraZeneca VaxzevriaTM / CoviShield
  • Any two dose combination of the above (e.g. 1 dose of Moderna SpikevaxTM  + 1 dose of AstraZeneca VaxzevriaTM)
  • 1 dose of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson

If you received one or two doses of a non-Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine, you will be considered fully immunized 14 days after receiving one dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM or Moderna SpikevaxTM).

You will also be considered fully immunized 14 days after receiving three doses of any non-Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine.


My child received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in school, where will they receive their second dose and how will I be notified about their appointment?

Children 12-15 years of age who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in school will receive their second dose at a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic over the summer months. Parents/legal guardians will be notified about their child’s second dose appointment through our partner Skip The Waiting Room in the month of July. If you do not receive notification about your child’s second dose appointment by the end of July, please call the COVID-19 Immunization Program toll-free 1-844-975-3303.


Does PEI have enough vaccine supply to ensure those who have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are able to receive their second dose?

PEI expects to have enough supply of mRNA vaccines (Moderna SpikevaxTM and Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM) over the next 3 months to ensure that 80% of eligible people 12 years of age and older can be fully immunized with 2 doses of mRNA vaccine by the end of the summer.


How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines after 1 dose? After 2 doses?

Two doses of vaccine provide much better protection against infection, severe illness, and death.  Two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine provides 62% to 82% (AstraZeneca VaxzevriaTM) and 88% to 94% (mRNA vaccines) protection against symptomatic infection.

Studies have indicated that one dose of mRNA vaccine (either Moderna SpikevaxTM or Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM) provides between 33% and 88% protection, and one dose of a viral vector vaccine (AstraZeneca VaxzevriaTM) provides between 33% and 60% protection against symptomatic illness, depending on the variant of concern.  Vaccine effectiveness will continue to be studied in Canada and around the world.


Do I have to get the same COVID-19 vaccine product for my second dose?

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) currently recommends that if you received an mRNA vaccine for your first dose (either Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM or Moderna SpikevaxTM) that you receive the same vaccine product for your second dose. If that same mRNA vaccine product is not available at the time of your appointment (or is not known), you can receive a different mRNA vaccine for your second dose. (As an example, if you received the Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM vaccine for your first dose, you can receive the Moderna SpikevaxTM vaccine for your second dose if the Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM vaccine is not available at the time of your second dose appointment).  

For individuals who received AstraZeneca VaxzevriaTM for their first dose, PEI is recommending that an mRNA vaccine (either Moderna SpikevaxTM or Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM) be offered as a second dose. Island residents will be able to choose to complete the series with AstraZeneca VaxzevriaTM if they are unable to receive an mRNA vaccine for health reasons, or as a personal choice.


Am I still as protected if I get a different vaccine product for my second dose?

Similar vaccines from different manufacturers are routinely used interchangeably, particularly when vaccine supply changes. All of the approved COVID-19 vaccines in Canada use the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as the antigen. Moderna SpikevaxTM and Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM are both mRNA-based vaccines and are considered interchangeable to complete a two-dose vaccine series.

For those who received AstraZeneca VaxzevriaTM as their first dose, evidence from Germany suggests that the immune response is better when the second dose is an mRNA vaccine. NACI now recommends that mRNA be the preferred second dose for those who received AstraZeneca VaxzevriaTM as a first dose.


I received the Moderna SpikevaxTM vaccine for my first dose at a clinic; can I book my second dose of Moderna SpikevaxTM vaccine at a partner pharmacy (ensuring it is scheduled for 28 days after my first dose)?

If you received your first dose at a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic, you should get your second dose at the same clinic. If you received your first dose at a pharmacy, your pharmacist will be contacting you for your second dose.

Anyone who has received their first dose of vaccine in PEI has already had a second dose appointment allotted for them. For example, if you were vaccinated at a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic, your second dose appointment has already been booked in the system. If you received your first dose of vaccine at a clinic in March or April and have not yet received your second dose appointment, you should call the COVID-19 Immunization Program toll-free at 1-844-975-3303 to get your appointment. If you received your first dose at a clinic in May or June, you should receive your second dose appointment in the next few weeks.


I received the Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM vaccine for my first dose at a clinic and I am comfortable receiving the Moderna SpikevaxTM vaccine for my second dose; can I book my second dose for the Moderna SpikevaxTM vaccine at a partner pharmacy (ensuring it is schedule for 28 days after my first dose)?

If you received your first dose at a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic, you should get your second dose at the same clinic. If you received your first dose at a pharmacy, your pharmacist will be contacting you for your second dose.

Anyone who has received their first dose of vaccine in PEI has already had a second dose appointment allotted for them. For example, if you were vaccinated at a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic, your second dose appointment has already been booked in the system. If you received your first dose of vaccine at a clinic in March or April and have not yet received your second dose appointment, you should call the COVID-19 Immunization Program toll-free at 1-844-975-3303 to get your appointment. If you received your first dose at a clinic in May or June, you should receive your second dose appointment in the next few weeks.


What happens if I miss my second dose appointment? How do I reschedule it?

If your second dose appointment was scheduled for a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic, you can reschedule your second dose vaccination appointment through our online booking partner at Skip The Waiting Room. You can also reschedule your appointment at a clinic by calling toll-free 1-877-975-3303.

If your second dose appointment was scheduled for a partner pharmacy, you need to contact the pharmacy directly to reschedule your appointment.


I am a seasonal resident/worker and got my first dose in another province.  How do I arrange to get my second dose in PEI?

Seasonal residents and workers can receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while they are in Prince Edward Island. Individuals can book their own second dose appointment online for a COVID-19 Immunization Clinic or with a partner pharmacy. It is important that you bring your record of immunization with you to Prince Edward Island and to your second dose appointment. You can call the COVID-19 Immunization Program toll-free at 1-844-975-3303 with any questions you may have. 

It is important to note that Prince Edward Island currently recommends 6 weeks between first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 


What if I need to get my second dose sooner than the recommended 6-week interval (for travel or health reasons)?

With informed consent, some people may need or choose to get their second dose earlier than 6 weeks (e.g. unexpected travel for compassionate reasons). As long you are aware of PEI’s recommendation to wait 6 weeks before getting your second dose, you may make the personal choice to receive the second dose at a shorter interval (must be at least 28 days after receiving your first dose), as supply and clinic or pharmacy capacity permit.

Published date: 
September 24, 2021
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca