News release – from Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
Due to a decrease in demand for COVID-19 vaccinations and a renewed focus on routine public immunizations including Grade 7 vaccine catch-up program, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is reducing its COVID-19 community-based vaccination clinics.
As of April 1, community clinics will operate at two locations only, both on a walk-in basis, with reduced schedules of operation as follows:
Mondays & Wednesdays:
Clinic location: 300 Peter St., (Old YMCA building), Orillia
Time: Noon – 5 p.m.
Fridays & Saturdays:
Clinic location: Georgian Mall, 509 Bayfield St. (Lower Level), Barrie
Time: Fridays from Noon – 5 p.m.
Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The COVID-19 Immunization Clinic at 29 Sperling Dr. in Barrie will continue to take walk-ins and booked appointments until the end of April, maintaining its regular hours of operation (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.).
Other options to access vaccine include local pop-up and GO-VAXX mobile clinics, pharmacies, booked appointments through some primary care providers, and Family Health Teams who are offering vaccine as part of their regular clinical practice.
SMDHU would like to express its appreciation and thanks to the many organizations, partners, staff and volunteers who contributed to the success of the numerous community-based clinics throughout the pandemic. As a direct result of everyone’s combined efforts, along with the many Simcoe and Muskoka residents five years and older who have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated, over 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Simcoe Muskoka to date.
While 83 per cent of residents have their first and second dose, only 53 per cent of those eligible to get a booster dose (12 years and older) have done so. The health unit strongly encourages those who are eligible to get their vaccine as soon as they can, particularly a booster dose which helps to reduce your risk for severe illness and chance of requiring hospitalization if you become infected with COVID-19. Youth aged 12 to 17 are eligible for a booster shot at least six months (or 168 days) after they received their second dose, while adults 18 years and older can receive a booster three months (84 days) after their second dose. Individuals 12 years and older infected with COVID-19 after their first and second dose but before their booster dose are suggested to receive their booster three months after symptom onset or positive test (if asymptomatic) and provided it is at least six months from completing the primary series.
When attending a clinic, individuals are encouraged to dress for the weather as they may be required to wait outdoors before entering the clinic. They are also reminded to bring identification (e.g., health card, driver’s license, passport), a list of any medications they are taking, wear a loose-fitting shirt that allows easy access to the upper arm and bring any assistive devices as needed (e.g. scooter, wheelchair, cane).
For pop-up and GO-VAXX mobile clinic schedules, and more information about how to prepare for your vaccination and what to expect upon arrival at the clinic, please visit our COVID-19 pages at smdhu.org/getvaccinated.