Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

MUSKOKA — You’ll know by Thursday where two Muskoka vaccinations clinics will open next week for those aged 85 and older.

They are part of a dozen sites local public health is setting up Monday, March 1, to inoculate residents and high-risk workers.

Medical officer of health Dr. Charles Gardner said this afternoon that he will be issuing a press release in two days, on Feb. 25, on who is eligible to book an appointment, the website and phone number.

And he said due to a “mobile society” you will also be able book at any of the dozen clinics the health unit is opening March 1.

He told media Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is taking a “broad approach,” but it will stick with priority groups based on risk factors including severity and the ability to spread.

He said that while Ontario said last week it would start with residents over age 80, due to the “very high number” in this region they will start at age 85.

Physicians will be assisting in providing lists of people.

And that you’ll have to have proof of age with “professional documentation.”

As well, pop-up and mobile clinics will be used to go to certain locations.

Those include the four First Nations in Simcoe-Muskoka, where residents in 55 and older will get the vaccine.

The health unit will be assisted in setting up the clinics by the hospitals, EMS, pharmacists and the municipalities, who are all “key” partners.

Gardner said it will take at least March and April to provide the vaccine to the first phase of people who will be eligible before the next group of people will get the vaccine.

He said the number of vaccines for Muskoka will be based on the percentage of people over 85, but that can be adjusted based on disease transmissability, which he said he “will be watching closely this week.”

This as Gardner said he’s “seriously considering” urging the province to bring back a lockdown for this region due to continuing cases of COVID and the rising number of variants locally.

And he said that a third wave is possible.

Residents in Muskoka will be able get the COVID vaccination starting next week at any of a dozen new clinics opening across Simcoe and Muskoka.

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