Questions about Second Dose

It is important that every eligible Prince Edward Island resident 5 years of age and older get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 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 8 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 also need or choose to get their second dose earlier than 8 weeks for essential reasons (e.g. unexpected travel for compassionate reasons).

Individuals who received the JanssenTM vaccine only need to get one dose. A booster dose of a mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM or Moderna SpikevaxTM) is recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization 6 months after the dose of J&J vaccine.


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, will be contacted by that same pharmacy about their second dose appointment.


When am I considered to be fully immunized?

In PEI you're considered fully vaccinated 14 days after you have any of the following COVID-19 vaccines:

  • 2 doses of AstraZeneca or COVISHIELD
  • 2 doses of Moderna
  • 2 doses of Pfizer
  • 2 doses of a combination of COVID-19 vaccines (AstraZeneca, COVISHIELD, Novavax, Moderna and Pfizer)
  • 1 dose of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • 2 doses of Novavax Nuvaxoid
  • 2 doses of Medicago Covifenz
  • 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization but not approved by Health Canada (including Covaxin, Sinovac and Sinopharm)

If you received 1 or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that's not approved by Health Canada and not authorized by the World Health Organization, you’re not considered fully vaccinated and need to complete one of the series above to be considered fully vaccinated.


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 who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in school but have not yet received a second dose need to book a second dose appointment through our partner Skip The Waiting Room or at a partner pharmacy (for ages 12 and over). 


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

Two doses of vaccine provide much better and longer-lasting protection against infection, severe illness, and death. Emerging data indicates that boosters are important to maintain good protection in the longer term.  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) recommends that a complete series with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should be offered in the authorized age groups without contraindications to the vaccine, with a dosing interval of at least 8 weeks between the first and second dose (either Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM or Moderna SpikevaxTM)   

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.


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.


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  (ensuring it is scheduled for at least 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.


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 a COVID-19 vaccine 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 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.  


What if I need to get my second dose sooner than the recommended 8-week interval (for travel or health reasons)?

With informed consent, some people may need or choose to get their second dose earlier than 8 weeks (e.g. unexpected travel for compassionate reasons). As long you are aware of PEI’s recommendation to wait 8 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: 
July 7, 2022
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