Following confirmation from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has extended the length between the time residents get their first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Local health officials say there will now be 16 weeks in between someone getting their first shot and their second which they say is intended to allow more people to be protected from COVID-19 during this time of limited vaccine supply.”
Officials explain that means if you booked an appointment before March 10th, your second appointment has been cancelled and will be rescheduled. They add that more details will be released in May about how rebookings will be handled.
The Health Unit says that the following groups are deemed to be most “at-risk for severe illness and death” so they will still be getting their first shot 21 to 27 days after the first one:
- Residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges, and assisted living facilities
- Remote and isolated First Nation communities
SMDHU officials say if you have an appointment for your second shot before 16 weeks, it will be cancelled and rescheduled. Information on how the rescheduled appointments will be made was not released by the Health Unit.
NACI says that despite the longer intervals between the first and second doses being administered, those inoculated still get a “strong and sustained level of protection from COVID-19.”