Vaccinations: Anyone, any dose, any time

By Lindsay Advocate

Walk-ins are welcomed at the Fenelon Falls Community Centre.

Getting a first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine is now easier than ever.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) is inviting anyone 12 years of age and older to visit any of its mass immunization clinics in Cobourg, Fenelon Falls or Minden for a first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. No appointments are necessary – walk-ins are welcome.

“We are receiving a lot more vaccine which means we can offer more appointments and opportunities for people to get vaccinated,” says Dr. Natalie Bocking, medical officer of health for the HKPR District Health Unit. “Our goal is to vaccinate as many residents as possible so we can all be protected from COVID and not have to see any further shutdowns, illness or deaths.”

While there are still thousands of appointments available at health unit clinics until the end of July, Bocking says residents can also now visit a clinic as a “walk-in” for their first or second dose. Anyone coming to a clinic is asked to bring their Ontario Health Card.

Walk-ins are welcomed at the Fenelon Falls Community Centre – 27 Veterans Way, Fenelon Falls – from 10 am to 4 pm. Clinic dates are listed on the health unit’s website.

Some individuals may still prefer an appointment, and there are many spots still available through the provincial booking system for clinics throughout the region. As well, area residents can get vaccinated at local pharmacies, or through “pop-up” clinics being hosted by local hospitals, family health teams and community health teams. Walk-ins are also welcome at many of these clinics.

With so many opportunities to get vaccinated, Bocking is urging everyone who has a second dose appointment currently booked for August, September or October to get their second dose sooner. Two doses offer better protection from the Delta variant, which is now prevalent throughout the province.

“We know the Delta variant is more transmissible and can cause more severe illness so it’s important people get their second dose as soon as they can to ensure they are protected,” Bocking says.

The other group Bocking hopes to see take advantage of the increased access to vaccine right now is local youth. With in-person learning expected to resume in the fall, Bocking says its crucial that youth aged 12 to 17 years get both doses before schools starts back in the fall.

“While most young people who got COVID did not suffer severe symptoms, we don’t know if that will be the case with the variants of concern we are seeing now,” Bocking says. “For their protection, and the protection of their family and community members, it’s important that our youth get vaccinated.”

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