News release – Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
With the continued spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant in the community, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) strongly encourages individuals who are pregnant and who had their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine a least three months (84 days) ago to get their booster shot as soon as possible to help limit their risk for severe illness if infected with COVID-19.
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant is safe for you and your baby. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) and SMDHU’s Medical Officer of Health recommend all people who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as any partner and family members of the pregnant individual to help protect against severe illness and hospitalization. Additional information and resources on COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy is available on the Government of Ontario website.
While our clinic appointment capacity in the provincial vaccine appointment booking system continues to be fully booked until late January, we encourage those who are pregnant to access vaccination through their health care provider, local pharmacy, one of our Simcoe Muskoka resident only clinics (appointments available on the health unit website) or by utilizing our walk-in strategy at our community clinics. We are utilizing a same day ticket system so that people won’t have to wait in lines.
As more appointments become available at health unit community vaccination clinics they will be available through the COVID-19 Vaccination Portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. Other locations offering booster doses by appointment that can be booked in the same way include the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at 29 Sperling Dr. in Barrie, the Cottage Country Family Health Team in Gravenhurst and the Algonquin Family Health Team in Huntsville. Additional vaccination options include appointments through the Couchiching Ontario Health Team Clinic, Barrie Family Health Team, some health care providers and family health teams, select pharmacies, the GO-VAXXBus, and some Indigenous-led clinics.
The local priority groups eligible for walk-ins at health unit community clinics has been expanded to include Simcoe Muskoka residents in the following groups:
- First doses for age 5+ and second doses for age 12+
- Boosters for the following provided they are at least 3 months (84 days) from their second dose:
- 40 years of age and older
- Education and childcare staff including educators, custodial staff, administrative staff, and school bus drivers
- Those with highest risk health conditions who have not yet received their booster dose which includes:
- Organ transplant recipients and individuals awaiting organ transplant
- Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
- Neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g., motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
- Haematological malignancy diagnosed <1 year
- Kidney disease eGFR< 30
- Individuals who are pregnant at time of vaccination.
- Health care workers and designated essential caregivers in congregate settings (including long- term care home and retirement home staff and designated caregivers)
- Those who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine or one dose of the Janssen vaccine
- First Nation, Inuit and Métis adults and their non-Indigenous household members who are 16 years of age or older.
With many more people now eligible for their booster dose, the demand for COVID-19 vaccination is high. The health unit asks the public for their patience as they try to book their appointment. SMDHU will continue to monitor clinic capacity and will update availability as it is able.
For more information about COVID-19 and details about where and how to get your vaccination, please visit our website at www.smdhu.org/COVID19.