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COVID-19 second booster dose eligibility expands to individuals 18 to 59 years

Jul 14, 2022
SIMCOE MUSKOKA – As of today, eligibility for a second COVID-19 booster dose has expanded to include anyone aged 18 to 59 years who has received their first booster dose five months (140 days) or a minimum of three months (84 days) ago.

SIMCOE MUSKOKA – As of today, eligibility for a second COVID-19 booster dose has expanded to include anyone aged 18 to 59 years who has received their first booster dose five months (140 days) or a minimum of three months (84 days) ago. Although protection against severe illness remains strong more than five months after a first booster dose, a second booster for those 18 to 59 years can add an extra layer of protection for those that want it based on their personal health and social circumstances. Second booster doses continue to be highly recommended for individuals 60 years or older, those who are immunocompromised, and Indigenous individuals and their non-Indigenous household members 18 years and older.

“With the rising rate of transmission of the Omicron BA.5 subvariant and the risk of reinfection, it is extremely important for individuals to firstly ensure that they have the first booster (third dose). For those who are 60 years and older, a second booster is also recommended. Now, for those aged 18 to 59 years, they are eligible to receive a second booster based on personal choice. The benefits are greatest for those who have pre-existing medical conditions and are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19, or if they are around medically vulnerable persons,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s medical officer of health. “Staying up to date and receiving all vaccinations you are recommended for, including booster doses, offers the most important layer of protection and reduces the risk of severe illness and hospitalization if you become infected with COVID-19.”

COVID-19 vaccine is widely available throughout the area, including by appointment at the health unit’s offices in Midland, Orillia, Cookstown, Collingwood, Huntsville and Gravenhurst, the health unit’s community clinic located at Georgian Mall in Barrie (by appointment and walk-in), and at the RVH COVID-19 Immunization Clinic at 29 Sperling Dr. in Barrie (by appointment and walk-in). New dates continue to be scheduled for pop-up and GO-VAXX bus clinics for booster doses as well as first or second doses of COVID-19 vaccine to those aged five years of age or older. Appointments are recommended and can be booked through the COVID-19 Vaccination Portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. Up-to-date details for the above clinics are available on the health unit’s website and social media accounts.

Other options for receiving your booster include appointments or walk-ins at select pharmacies, and appointments through the Couchiching Ontario Health Team Clinic, some health care providers, and some family health teams.

Along with vaccination, the health unit continues to strongly recommend that people take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including choosing outdoor activities and socializing outside if possible, wearing a mask in indoor public settings, limiting your number of close contacts, physically distancing from people outside your household, ensuring good ventilation, and practising proper hand hygiene. If you are feeling unwell, stay home and get tested if you have access to either rapid antigen tests or are eligible for PCR testing. 

Free rapid antigen test kits are available at participating grocery stores and pharmacies, as well as workplaces, schools, hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes and other congregate settings.

People who are experiencing symptoms and are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 may be eligible for treatment with antivirals. To find out if you are eligible and should be assessed for treatment, use Ontario’s online antiviral screener tool. If required, an assessment can be done at a clinical assessment centre or by contacting your health care provider. 

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.

 

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