News release – from Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
As of today, individuals aged 50 years and older who received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months ago, are now eligible to receive a booster shot. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is providing booster doses at its community clinics by appointment which can be booked through the COVID-19 Vaccination Portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.
Other locations offering booster and third doses by appointment include the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at 29 Sperling Dr. in Barrie (walk-ins also available Sun to Thurs 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.), 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, some health care providers and family health teams, select pharmacies, the GO-VAXX Bus, and some Indigenous-led clinics.
Boosters are available to individuals at least 6 months (a minimum of 168 days) after their second dose to extend their protection due to increased risk of exposure, severe disease and waning immunity. Individuals currently eligible for a booster include:
• Residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes and First Nation elder lodges, and seniors living in other congregate settings
• Individuals aged 50 and over (born in 1971 or earlier)
• Health care workers and designated essential caregivers in congregate settings (including long-term care home and retirement home staff and designated caregivers)
• Individuals 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.
While a full two-dose series of COVID-19 vaccine provides powerful and persistent protection against COVID-19 for most people, a booster dose provides an extra layer of protection, particularly against the highly transmissible Delta variant, for individuals more at risk.
SMDHU also continues to encourage individuals who are considered moderately or severely immunocompromised based on the Ministry of Health’s definitions to receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The purpose of a third dose is to complete the original series of COVID-19 vaccine to make it a three-dose series, due to evidence of potential sub-optimal immune response to the initial two doses in specific populations, including:
- Dialysis patients
- Transplant recipients
- Individuals with solid tumours or hematological cancers on active treatment
- Individuals who are severe primary immunodeficiency or advanced untreated HIV
- Recipients of specific immunocompromising medications.
If you believe you qualify for a third dose, please contact your health care provider for a referral form or take your eligible immunosuppressing prescription directly to the clinic.
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.