Second COVID-19 vaccine doses now available to eligible Simcoe Muskoka residents
ORILLIA, ONT. -- Simcoe Muskoka COVID-19 vaccination clinics are ramping up for the long weekend with overwhelming demand as eligibility opened up to residents 18 and older.
Residents who received their first dose before March 17 and had their second dose cancelled when the timeline between doses was extended can now book online.
"We do have people coming all the time wanting to know if they can get their vaccine today. Can they get in? Do we have extra doses? We still have to encourage booked appointments," said Denise LeCroix, manager of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit's Orillia Vaccination Clinic.
The health unit created an interim system for booking second dose appointments for those who never had an appointment or had one cancelled.
The schedule for booking a second dose appointment is as follows:
- Those immunized with the first dose the week of March 1 need to book the second dose for the week of June 20.
- Those immunized with the first dose the week of March 7 need to book the second dose for the week of June 27.
- Those immunized with the first dose the week of March 14 need to book the second dose for the week of July 4.
On its website, the health unit states, "If you book earlier than when you are due, you will be turned away at the appointment and risk delaying your second dose even further."
Meanwhile, anyone who booked their first dose with the provincial booking system will need to wait until the province adds the single-dose booking function on its website.
The health unit reports it has enough doses to provide appointments to those who had their shots postponed in mid-March when Canada's Pfizer supply became scarce for more than a month.
Complete information on the COVID-19 Vaccination program is available here.
LeCroix urges residents to book their appointment for the vaccine. "The more vaccines we get in arms, the better we protect the health of the community, and we get back to our normal lives."
In Orillia, 700 doses went into arms Friday and another 700 in Bradford - the region's hot spot. Since pop-up clinics opened to residents 18 and older, the area has reported a drop in infection rates.
Innisfil resident Nicole McQuarrie said she's anxious to visit her family, something she will feel more comfortable doing once she's immunized. "We haven't seen each other for a long time now, and it's just one of those things where I'd rather keep them safe, so if we can get vaccinated and keep each other safe, then let's do it."
Vaccination clinics at Rotary Place in Orillia will soon operate seven days a week.