Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit starting secondary school catch-up immunization clinics

Flu shots and bivalent Covid-19 vaccines now available in Interior Health region. RVS

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is trying to help students get caught up on routine vaccines they missed during the pandemic with catch-up clinics in schools.

The health unit 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.

Parents and caregivers of students who received a letter but already had their routine and required immunizations through their health-care provider are asked to update their child’s immunization record online.

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During school-based catch-up clinics, health unit nurses will offer:

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  • 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.

The health unit advises that COVID-19 and influenza vaccines will not be available at these clinics.

The health unit advises getting immunized according to the immunization schedule for Ontario to help ensure that youth have the best protection against certain vaccine-preventable diseases, and to help reduce the risk of outbreaks in schools.

The health unit is also reminding parents and caregivers that vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and meningococcal disease is required under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, while hepatitis B and HPV vaccines are strongly recommended.

More information about routine and mandatory vaccines given to students and the diseases they prevent is available on the health unit’s website.

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