The province has declared the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s region a Delta Hotspot. 

Ontario is also accelerating second dose COVID-19 vaccinations for Delta hotspots where the more transmissible Delta variant originally found in India has been spreading.

Ontario’s Updated Second Dose Schedule for COVID-19 vaccines, From the Government of Ontario June 17th, 2021

As a result, If you got your first Pfizer or Moderna jab on or before May 30th you can get an accelerated second dose appointment starting Wednesday next week. 

The news comes one day after the regional Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gradner warned of an increased prevalence of the Delta variant in the region. 

Gardner says the Delta variant is capable of “immune escape,” in which the virus is able to hide from the body’s immune system. 

He says this is less likely to happen after receiving a second dose.

The Health Unit is now treating the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccine as interchangeable, meaning residents can now receive any combination of the two mRNA vaccines for their two doses. 

As of Thursday, 63.4 percent of Muskoka residents have received their first shot and 11.5 percent are fully vaccinated. 

That’s lower than the province which sits at 75 percent with the first shot of a vaccine and just under 20 percent fully vaccinated.

With files from Martin Halek