The local health unit will start offering COVID-19 vaccine clinics in some secondary schools come September. 

Under provincial direction, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is offering first and second doses in clinics held between September 9th and the 17th. 

The health unit will be utilizing space made available by local school boards and schools to ensure clinics are accessible to students, staff and the school community, while not interfering with academic studies. 

During school hours, the clinics will only be available to students and staff who attend or work at the school clinic location. 

Members of the school community and the public will be able to access the clinics after school hours on a walk-in basis. 

The schedule is available on the health unit’s website and will also be communicated by the school boards to parents. 

Like all other medical procedures, COVID-19 vaccines are given only to youth who provide informed consent. 

Before a student receives their shot at the vaccination clinic, the health care provider will check that the student understands the treatment, why it is being recommended, and its risks and benefits.

SMDHU encourages parents and guardians to discuss COVID-19 vaccination with their children before the school clinics. 

If parents or students have questions or concerns about COVID-19 vaccination, we encourage them to reach out to their primary care providers.

Regardless of vaccination status, everyone in the school community must continue to follow public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Measures include staying home when feeling ill, maintaining a physical distance of 2 metres from those living outside of your household and wearing a mask when physical distancing is not possible, covering your cough, and washing your hands regularly.  

Parents and students are invited to attend a live, virtual presentation on Wednesday, September 8 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. by SMDHU Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Colin Lee and Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital Pediatrician, Dr. Sarah Barker. They will discuss COVID vaccines, issues of consent and respond to questions in real time. Visit http://smdhu.org/schooltownhall to learn more.