This Version Posted: July 30, 2021
Get Your Second COVID-19 Dose Sooner… It’s Just a Phone Call Away
Close to 8,000 area residents are going to receive an important phone call in the next few days.
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is teaming up with staff from the Ministry of Health to connect directly with local residents who have an appointment to receive their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine booked after August 15. Earlier this week, the HKPR District Health Unit announced it had cancelled all second dose appointments booked in August and beyond and was encouraging individuals to either rebook their appointment sooner or visit one of the Health Unit’s vaccination clinics as a walk-in.
“Now is the time to get your second dose of vaccine,” says Dr. Natalie Bocking, Medical Officer of Health for the HKPR District Health Unit. “We have the vaccine now, we have the appointments open now and we want to be sure everyone gets fully protected against the more infectious Delta variant.”
Beginning tomorrow (Saturday, July 31), staff from the Ministry of Health will be calling these individuals directly. The goal is to ensure they know their appointment has been cancelled and to help them rebook an appointment sooner or help them find a local clinic where they can walk-in for a vaccine without an appointment. Please note: Incoming calls will be from phone number 1-888-999-6488.
Depending on when people received their first dose, the provincial booking system would have scheduled their second dose appointment 112 days later. This means that some people may have appointments booked into October and November, which is too late Dr. Bocking says.
“We know that having both doses of vaccine offers the best protection from the more infectious Delta variant,” Dr. Bocking says. “In the fall, we fully expect to see more COVID cases as this is the time of year we tend to see an increase in respiratory viruses. This, coupled with the return to in-person learning in schools, means it’s important that residents of all ages get both doses of the vaccine as soon as they can to ensure they are protected for the fall.”\
Residents can book their first or second dose appointment through the provincial booking system at www.ontario.ca/bookvaccine and Health Unit clinics up to August 14 are now loaded into the system. Individuals can also go to any Health Unit clinic as a “walk-in,” meaning they do not need to book an appointment. All clinic dates and locations are listed on the Health Unit’s website at www.hkpr.on.ca.
Starting August 3, all HKPR vaccination clinics will be open to walk-ins from 2 to 7 pm.
“The Health Unit will not be holding mass immunization clinics indefinitely,” Dr. Bocking says. “At some point, we will need to close the clinics to focus on other work and we want to be sure as many people in our region are vaccinated as possible before that happens.”
Once Health Unit clinics are complete, area residents may still be able to receive their vaccination through local pharmacies or their health care provider.