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COVID-19 vaccine update for transplant recipients

Last updated: October 26, 2023

The fall 2023 COVID-19 and flu vaccination program is rolling out now. Priority populations include people with chronic health conditions such as organ transplant. Invitations to book appointments for COVID-19 and flu vaccines will start going out by October 10.  At this time, mRNA vaccine is still the preferred Covid-19 vaccine for transplant patients.
COVID-19 Immunization

COVID-19 continues to circulate in British Columbia. BC Transplant and the transplant clinical teams strongly recommend patients get fully vaccinated and receive an additional vaccine dose against COVID-19.

If you test positive for COVID-19, please let your transplant team know. Transplant recipients are among the patient groups who have priority access to COVID-19 treatments in B.C.

Transplant recipients are also strongly advised to get a flu vaccine, which is available and free for everyone 6 months and older in B.C. - find a flu clinic near you. You can also receive a flu vaccine at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine, if that is convenient for you.

All pre- and post-transplant patients are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and get additional vaccine doses as they become available.  

A complete primary vaccine series for solid organ transplant recipients involves three doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Three doses of vaccine offer better protection for people who are immunocompromised.  A three-dose series is safe and recommended for transplant recipients who have never been vaccinated. If you were vaccinated before your transplant, you may have only received two doses and that is acceptable.  

Transplant recipients (age 6 months and up) may have also received additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine after their primary vaccine series, and is highly recommended they get an additional 2023 fall COVID-19 vaccine dose this fall.

An additional vaccine dose starting in the fall of 2023 is expected to increase protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 symptomatic and severe disease that has waned since the last COVID-19 vaccination or SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends patients to wait at least 6 months after their last dose to get another dose. If you are eligible to an additional dose now, please wait until the fall to receive your next dose of COVID-19 vaccine in order to maximize your protection during the winter respiratory virus season.

For the pediatric population, please view this link for more information: (COVID-19 vaccines for children and youth | Immunize BC)

If you recently had COVID-19, you should wait at least six months to get your additional COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Register with or the BC Vaccine Line (call 1-833-838-2323) to be notified when to book each vaccine dose. 

The BCCDC has the most current information about getting a vaccine.

  • Solid organ transplant recipients continue to be at risk of severe diseases from COVID-19. We strongly recommend getting an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose this fall so you are protected as we head into the cold and flu season. This is in line with NACI, which strongly recommends an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine beginning in the fall of 2023 for those previously vaccinated against COVID-19. The updated vaccine will help protect against the latest variants. 
  • Additional COVID-19 vaccine doses in the fall will be formulations updated to target more recent SARS-CoV-2 variants. Individuals vaccinated with the updated formulation are expected to benefit from a better immune response against these variants compared to current vaccines. 
  • COVID-19 vaccination of solid organ transplant recipients will help reduce their risk of severe disease that could potentially result in hospitalization and death. 
  • Solid organ transplant recipients can get a flu vaccine at the same time as their additional COVID-19 vaccine dose. It has been shown that COVID-19 vaccines may be given concurrently (i.e., same day), or at any time before or after non-COVID-19 vaccines. COVID-19 and flu vaccines are expected to be available at pharmacies and vaccination clinics around BC this fall. (Influenza (flu) vaccine | Immunize BC)
  • An additional dose of vaccine starting this fall is particularly important for those who have not been previously infected and have protection from vaccination alone. Even if you have previously been infected, protection against infection will decrease over time. There are no known safety risks with receiving a vaccine after a recent SARS-CoV-2 infection. 

Transplant recipients are among the patient groups who have priority access to COVID-19 treatments in BC. The medications should be started within five to seven days of experiencing signs and symptoms of infection. You will also need a positive COVID-19 test to be eligible.

  • If you develop cold or flu-like symptoms, you should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible (rapid antigen or PCR).
  • If you test positive, contact your transplant care team as soon as possible. They will determine if you might benefit from available treatments.
  • If you are eligible, the preferred, most effective and safer treatment (Remdesivir) for transplant patients requires three days of intravenous (IV) infusions at a health authority infusion facility. Your transplant care team will work with the health authority where you live to ensure you receive it.
  • Paxlovid is an oral COVID-19 treatment available in BC; however, Paxlovid is not recommended for transplant patients because it interacts with transplant medications. 

For more information on COVID-19

The BCCDC has a webpage for patients with chronic health conditions, which is relevant for transplant recipients: BCCDC COVID-19 information for patients with chronic health conditions.

BC COVID-19 - COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool ( – updated link

BC's Fall 2023 COVID-19 Vaccination Program: Get an additional COVID-19 vaccination - Province of British Columbia (

BCCDC – Additional COVID-19 Vaccine Doses: Getting a Vaccine (      BCCDC COVID-19 Updates

This page was originally created March 16, 2020. The date at the top reflects the date it was most recently updated.

SOURCE: COVID-19 vaccine update for transplant recipients ( )
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