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Health unit offering secondary school-based catch-up clinics for routine immunizations

Dec 20, 2022
SIMCOE MUSKOKA – During the pandemic, many high school students were unable to receive their routine and required immunizations.

SIMCOE MUSKOKA – During the pandemic, many high school students were unable to receive their routine and required immunizations. To help students get caught up, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) in partnership with local school boards, will offer school-based clinics at high schools in Simcoe Muskoka in the new year.

In January, letters will be mailed to students and their families to notify them if the student’s record on file at the health unit is not up to date, and if not, what information is missing.

Nurses will be visiting local high schools in February and March 2023 to offer catch-up clinics. Immunizations offered will include:

  • 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 at school that may have been missed. 

COVID-19 and influenza vaccines will not be offered at these clinics.

The health unit advises getting immunized according to the publicly funded immunization schedule for Ontario. Having up-to-date immunizations help ensure that youth have the best protection against certain preventable diseases and help reduce the risk of outbreaks in school. 

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

Parents and caregivers are advised to update their child’s immunization record and to catch up on any outstanding routine immunizations. Students with incomplete immunization records will receive notice from the health unit that their immunization record is not up to date in 2023.

For more information about routine and mandatory vaccines given to students and the diseases they prevent, please visit smdhu.org/Grade9to12. You can also speak with a public health professional by calling Health Connection, 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

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