Mobile vaccination clinics to travel throughout Muskoka; top doctor says new permanent locations unlikely
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner (Photo taken on Zoom)
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has announced pop-up vaccination clinics will be established in Gravenhurst, Muskoka Lakes and the Townships of Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay.
“I am aware of concerns raised regarding access to COVID-19 vaccination in the District of Muskoka, and a desire for vaccination clinics to be established in addition to the two present locations in Huntsville and Bracebridge,” SMDHU’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner said in a letter. “These clinic locations were chosen with careful consideration by a regional planning table of representatives from the area municipalities within the District of Muskoka, as well as representation from both the Cottage Country Family Health Team and Algonquin Family Health Teams, the Muskoka Algonquin Health Care, and from the Muskoka and Area Ontario Health Team.”
Gravenhurst’s Mayor Paul Kelly has called on the Health Unit to better support Gravenhurst when it comes to healthcare. “It’s been an ongoing issue with regard to this community and being left behind for many many years,” Kelly told the MyMuskokaNow.com newsroom in March.
“At this time, we don’t believe we can set up an additional permanent clinic,” Dr. Gardner said in his weekly briefing Tuesday. He cited the limited resources that SMDHU has access to as the reason.
“Mobile clinics also continue to provide immunization to those in community facility settings who need it most and are unable to attend the fixed location clinics as well as other priority populations benefitting from outreach,” Dr. Gardner added in the letter. “In addition, we are looking into the potential to provide vaccination in the future through at least some primary care practices; in such instances primary care offices would contact eligible patients for vaccination, and so we do ask that people not contact their family medicine practitioner on this.”
Dr. Gardner also said the Health Unit is partnering with Hammond Transportation to help bring people to their appointments. You need to call 705-645-2583 to book an appointment. The service is free to use.