September 10, 2020 - The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is announcing that catch-up immunization clinics will be held in various locations throughout the City of Thunder Bay.
Grade 8 students attending school in the City of Thunder Bay and surrounding communities who missed a Grade 7 vaccination due to the COVID-19 pandemic can now get an appointment at a TBDHU immunization clinic to receive any outstanding doses. Catch up immunizations for students in District communities were offered by TBDHU over the summer months.
“In the spring, the school-based immunization program and our immunization enforcement activities were halted due to the pandemic response,” said Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health for Thunder Bay District Health Unit. “We are currently ramping up essential public health services, such as immunizations. It is important to prevent cases and outbreaks of diseases that are vaccine preventable”.
The TBDHU held school-based clinics in the fall of 2019, but the second set of clinics scheduled for spring 2020 were cancelled due to the pandemic and school closures. As a result, most students who were in Grade 7 during the 2019/2020 school year still require a second dose of both the hepatitis B and HPV vaccines, with some students also needing the meningococcal vaccine if they missed the 2019 clinic.
A complete list of clinic dates and locations is available at the TBDHU website. Clinics are by appointment only. Parents and caregivers of students who were in Grade 7 last year are encouraged to call TBDHU at 625-5900 to set up an appointment and to get information on the vaccines their child(ren) may be missing. Families will also be provided information on the COVID-19 precautions they will need to follow at the clinic, including screening, physical distancing, hand hygiene and masking.
Parents or caregivers of students who received the missing vaccines from their health care provider should report them to TBDHU to ensure the child’s immunization record is up to date. Vaccines can be reported through a secure online system called ICON (Immunization Connect Ontario), available at TBDHU.COM/immunizations. Families without an ICON account should call a nurse at 625-5900 for assistance. Vaccines can also be reported by phone at 625-5900.
Additional catch-up clinics for Grade 7 and high school students are planned for later in the fall and this information will be communicated once details are available.
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