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Make catching up on routine childhood immunizations part of your back to school plan

Aug 14, 2023
SIMCOE MUSKOKA – The start of a new school year is a few weeks away and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) continues to offer vaccination clinics throughout our communities to help children and youth aged four to 17 years to catch up, keep up and stay on track with their publicly funded, routine vaccines before classes begin.

SIMCOE MUSKOKA – The start of a new school year is a few weeks away and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) continues to offer vaccination clinics throughout our communities to help children and youth aged four to 17 years to catch up, keep up and stay on track with their publicly funded, routine vaccines before classes begin.

Many children missed out on receiving required vaccines during the pandemic, so it is particularly important that kids receive the immunizations that help to protect against diseases like whooping cough, measles and meningitis before they are back at school,” says Mary Ann Holmes, SMDHU Acting Vice President of Clinical Service. “Vaccination is safe and ensuring that your child’s immunizations are up to date is an effective way to avoid preventable infections that can cause serious illness and spread in the community and at school.”

The health unit recommends getting immunized according to the publicly funded immunization schedule for Ontario. Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupils Act requires that students be vaccinated for tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and meningococcal disease, or have a valid exemption.

Parents and caregivers whose children have not received all recommended vaccines for their age or are unsure of which vaccines are needed should speak to their child’s healthcare provider or the health unit as soon as possible. They can help figure out which vaccines children have already had, which ones they still need, and when and where to get them.

Families with school-age children who are eligible or overdue for their routine and publicly funded vaccines and who do not have a healthcare provider can book an immunization appointment for the clinic at 29 Sperling Dr in Barrie or at one of the health unit offices in Collingwood, Cookstown, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Midland and Orillia.

If a child or youth has already received immunizations through their healthcare provider, parents and caregivers must update their immunization record on file with the health unit online.

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

 

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