News release – from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
Following the province’s announcement to rapidly expand booster eligibility to all individuals 18 and older and to decrease the wait time between second and third doses from six to three months, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is experiencing an overwhelming demand for booster shot appointments. While the health unit is doing all it can to increase capacity at community clinics, it must continue to prioritize those most as risk of severe disease.
As of this morning, SMDHU has added new local appointments to the Provincial Booking System which can be booked through the COVID-19 Vaccination Portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.
The following priority groups are encouraged to book their appointments:
- Anyone 50 years of age and older
- Health care workers and designated essential caregivers in congregate settings (including long-term care home and retirement home staff and designated caregivers) who are 16 years of age and older
- 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.
From now through to Sunday, anyone in these groups can book online at the 6-month interval (168 days), or at new 3-month interval (84 days) by calling the provincial call centre until Monday morning.
Currently, the clinics are unable to accept walk-ins for anyone that is less than 6 months (168 days) from their second dose or under 50 years of age unless otherwise eligible. The health unit will continue to monitor clinic capacity and will update eligibility as it is able.
With growing concern surrounding the rapidly spreading and highly contagious Omicron variant, individuals are urged to get their booster dose as soon as they are eligible, as early evidence suggests that a third dose or booster can further increase protection against severe illness and hospitalization.
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.