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Health Unit now booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments for those 60-69 and select community health care workers

Community health care workers who have received a booking code are also eligible to make an appointment this week
20201010 north bay parry sound health unit sign turl stock
The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit. Jeff Turl/BayToday.

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit says it is booking appointments for people born in 1961 or before for upcoming COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

People who are in this age group can book online here, or by calling the Health Unit from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-563-2808. Appointments cannot be made in person.

A list of local clinics and more information on booking appointments can be found here.

Community health care workers who have received a booking code are also eligible to make an appointment this week. 

"As appointments are made available to more priority groups, clinics are filling up quickly and a wait time is expected for those booking by phone," says a news release. "The Health Unit encourages individuals to book online if they are able to do so and is reminding the public that names cannot be placed on a waiting list for clinics that are not yet scheduled. More clinics will be added to the schedule as vaccine supply continues to be allocated to the Health Unit."

To date, over 21,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to residents in the Health Unit district, and more than 4,500 will be receiving their vaccine this week.

Meanwhile, the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit also says those 60 years of age and older are now eligible to directly book their COVID-19 vaccination at community clinics as the provincial COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan moves into Phase 2. 

“The movement into Phase 2 is encouraging and hopeful news for our communities," said Simcoe Muskoka’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Charles Gardner."The faster people are vaccinated, the sooner our communities will be protected, and the closer we are to bringing the pandemic under control.

“Expanding immunization into Phase 2 groups follows on the heels of another important milestone – we have now administered more than 100,000 doses of vaccine in Simcoe Muskoka, which includes more than 18,000 individuals who have received both doses of the vaccine. It is important to note that it is expected that it will take until the end of June to complete this phase, and is dependent on vaccine supply."

Other groups are also eligible in this phase, including those in the highest-risk health condition category, followed later by the high-risk category, plus one essential caregiver where eligible. These individuals may be contacted directly by local hospitals and/or primary care providers in order to advise them on the details of how they can receive vaccination.

The highest-risk health condition category includes:

  • Organ transplant recipients
  • Stem cell (Hematopoietic) transplant recipients
  • People with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g., motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
  • People with cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes diagnosed less than one year ago
  • Kidney disease

High-risk health conditions include:

  • Obesity (BMI > 40)
  • Other treatments causing immunosuppression (e.g., chemotherapy)
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Additionally, adults aged 50 years and older (born in 1971 or earlier) who live in "hot spot" priority communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 will be eligible for vaccination through specific immunization clinics, which will be announced separately. In Simcoe Muskoka, the province has identified the area of Bradford East as a “hot spot” priority community, based on ongoing higher rates of COVID-19 transmission, hospitalization and death.