Bivalent COVID-19 booster rolling out this month

 In News

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is now offering the bivalent COVID-19 booster to priority groups who are at greatest risk of hospitalization, severe illness or death from COVID-19 infection.

The bivalent mRNA vaccine targets the original COVID-19 virus and the Omicron B1 variant and will help offer protection during the anticipated fall surge.

Eligible individuals can receive the bivalent booster at the recommended interval of at least six months (or three months with informed consent) from their previous dose, regardless of how many boosters they have already received, by appointment only at local GO-VAXX bus visits and at SMDHU clinics. Appointments are available through the provincial COVID-19 Vaccination Portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. Walk-ins are currently unavailable.

Priority groups include people 70 and older; residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges and those living in other congregate settings; First Nation, Inuit and Métis adults and their non- Indigenous household members 18 and older; pregnant individuals who are 18 and older, health care workers 18 and older; moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals 12 and older.

To prioritize distribution to these priority groups, new booster appointments for people 18 and older will be paused until Sept. 26, when bivalent booster eligibility expands to that age group. All previously-booked booster appointments for Sept. 12 to 25 will be honoured and, if available, the bivalent vaccine will be offered.

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