Health Unit Pauses Non-COVID-19 Public Immunization Services

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Due to continuing COVID-19 demands, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is placing publicly-funded child and adult routine immunization services at each of its seven local health unit offices across the region on hold.

As has been necessary throughout the pandemic, the health unit has needed to shift resources to protect our community from COVID-19, which remains the top provincial priority for vaccination efforts. When plans to resume publicly-funded immunization services, including the in-school Grade 7 School Immunization Program, were announced in late September, it was thought that COVID-19 vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds would not likely receive approval until early 2022. However, there are indications that this may now occur as soon as this month. In addition, the province is expected to announce its plans for the provision of third doses for additional priority populations in Ontario based on last week’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommendations. As such, the health unit is working to ensure it is prepared to implement both of these immunization initiatives when they are announced.

Any existing routine immunization appointments that have been booked and confirmed will be honoured. Individuals who do not want to wait to receive their routine vaccines and boosters should contact their primary care provider, who will be able to order these vaccines from SMDHU.

COVID-19 vaccinations continue to be a public health priority and it is advised that individuals get vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible at a pop-up vaccination clinic, a local pharmacy or through their health care provider.

SMDHU reminds everyone to follow current public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including staying home when feeling ill, maintaining a physical distance of at least 2 metres from those living outside of your household, wearing a mask indoors and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible, covering your cough, and washing your hands regularly.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit www.smdhu.org/COVID-19.

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