To help students get caught up on the routine and required immunizations that were missed during the pandemic, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is partnering with local school boards to offer school-based immunization clinics at Simcoe Muskoka secondary schools during February and March.
In early January, the health unit mailed letters home to the families of students whose immunization records are incomplete to notify them of what information is missing. If a student has already received their routine and required immunizations through their health care provider or a health unit clinic, parents and caregivers are advised to update their child’s immunization record online.
During school-based catch-up clinics health unit nurses will offer:
- Required vaccines (Tdap booster for 14- to 16-year-olds, Men-C-ACYW (meningitis – offered in Grade 7) and/or measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) if missed
- Second dose varicella (chicken pox vaccine) if missed (not mandatory)
- Hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines that are offered in Grade 7 if missed.
We will not be offering COVID-19 and influenza vaccines at these clinics.
The health unit advises getting immunized according to the publicly funded immunization schedule for Ontario. Having up-to-date immunizations helps to ensure that youth have the best protection against certain vaccine preventable diseases and helps to reduce the risk of outbreaks in schools.
Parents and caregivers are reminded that vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and meningococcal disease are required immunizations under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, while hepatitis B and HPV vaccines are strongly recommended.
For more information about routine and mandatory vaccines given to students and the diseases they prevent, please visit smdhu.org/Grade9to12. You can also speak with a public health professional by calling Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.