A COVID-19 immunization clinic is being opened in Barrie.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) says the vaccine will be administered at the location to priority individuals pending its arrival. SMDHU says it will “soon” to distributed to the region.

The following are listed by the Health Unit as priority individuals:

  • Residents, staff, essential caregivers, and other employees of congregate living settings such as long-term care homes and retirement homes that provide care for seniors as they are at higher risk of infection and serious illness from COVID-19.
  • Health care workers, including hospital employees, other staff who work or study in hospitals, and other health care personnel.
  • Adults in Indigenous communities, including remote communities where the risk of transmission is high.
  • Adult recipients of chronic home health care.

SMDHU is partnering with the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVRHC) and the City of Barrie to open the centre. It will be set-up at the current COVID-19 assessment centre operated by RVRHC on Sperling Drive in Barrie.

The vaccine will be administered by nurses with SMDHU to a limited number of prioritized people beginning with long-term care workers. “The vaccine will not be broadly available to the general public until sometime in 2021 and it is expected it will take another six to nine months to immunize all Ontarians who opt to get the vaccine,” the Health Unit says.

“In the meantime, it is critical that we don’t let our guard down,” SMDHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Garnder said. “We must continue to practice those public health measures that will keep us and our loved ones safe until we are all able to be vaccinated. Wear a mask, physically distance from those outside our households, wash your hands frequently, stay home if sick and get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms, which are still critical to reducing and preventing transmission of the virus.”