ReleasePublished: Jun 6th, 2022

News release – Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is now offering Grade 8 immunization catch-up clinics and will soon resume its routine publicly-funded child, youth and adult immunization services that were paused in March 2020 due to the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Appointments are now available at six of the health unit’s local offices across the region and at the Georgian Mall clinic in Barrie to students currently enrolled in Grade 8 who missed their first or second dose of hepatitis B, human papillomavirus (HPV), and meningococcal vaccines in Grade 7 due to school immunization program delays caused by the pandemic. 

Information has been sent home with students through their school and appointments may be booked online at www.smdhu.org/grade8 or by calling Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or at 1-877-721-7520, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The health unit is also working with school board partners to resume the Grade 7 school immunization program during the 2022-2023 school year, when eligible students in Grades 7 and 8 will be offered hepatitis B, meningitis C-ACYW and human papillomavirus vaccines at school-based clinics. Information will be sent home in September with students through the school in advance of school-based clinics.

On June 13, the health unit will resume routine publicly-funded immunizations for children, youth and adults who are eligible and/or overdue and who do not have access to vaccines through a healthcare provider. 

These immunizations will also be available at the health unit’s seven office locations by appointment only and can be booked online at www.smdhu.org/appointment or by calling Health Connection at 705-721-7520, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

“Routine vaccinations help prevent the spread of some serious preventable diseases and staying up to date with your vaccinations is vital to staying healthy,” said Mary Ann Holmes, SMDHU’s acting assistant vice president for immunization.

“Our ability to offer routine immunization services during the pandemic was critically curtailed and we are pleased to once again offer these services to residents throughout Simcoe Muskoka.”

COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters continue to be a public health priority and appointments will be offered at each office clinic. It is advised that individuals get their required dose as soon as they become eligible, and to stay up to date with their vaccines. 

COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are also available at local pharmacies, through some healthcare providers and at one-day pop-up and GO-VAXX bus clinics.

Please note, all persons attending a Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit office or community clinic will be required to wear a mask. Masks will be made available at the entrance to all our clinics.

Patricia Dent

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