How to Get your Canadian Child 'Vaccine Boosted' in the USA
Ryan Imgrund - January 25th, 2022

Ryan Imgrund

With the Canadian Government not allowing youth aged 12 to 17 to get their booster shot, travelling to the USA for this is something you may have considered. My wife and I successfully did this for my teenaged son so here's a few tips and tricks that will help you out.

STEP ONE: Booking Your "Return Home" Test

By far the most important and time sensitive step. Fortunately, the Canadian border is now accepting NAAT tests done in the USA with the swab taken less than 72 hours before your return. Not only are they rapid, but they are free!

We got ours done at a Meijer store in Petoskey, Michigan. We received an email with test results 35 minutes later, although they did say it could take up to 24 hours. The test is done in their drive thru and the swab is self-administered. To check out if a Meijer near you offers free NAAT testing, click here and select, "Free COVID-19 Testing." NOTE: They fill up fast.

CVS also has free Rapid PCR's available but also fills up quick. Their link is here.

STEP TWO: Booking Your Booster

One you have your return home test booked, you can check for booster availability on that day for your child. We got ours done at Rite Aid in Petoskey, Michigan. Like the return home test, this was also free. Rite Aid has a specific policy that you will be vaccinated REGARDLESS of immigration status (They had an issue with this in March 2021 which led to negative publicity so it's now an official policy). Still, consider a phone call if this is a concern.

To check out if a Rite Aid near you offers booster shots, click here. Walk-ins are available too between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM with limited availability.

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Another option is to use Walgreens and find a location that offers the ID NOW Rapid Diagnostic Test. For locations, go here. There may be a price associated with this though.

You could also book a PCR test but many places don't promise them back fast enough to make travel on them possible. They also run, on average, 60 USD.


This happened to me. With Meijer, the next test wasn't available until 4 days later. I was told to book a test four days later but come back immediately and have another test done USING that reserved booking confirmation.