To patients (aged 6 months to 18 years old),

 

We hope everyone and their families had a safe and enjoyable summer. As we move into the fall season and upcoming school year (and daycare), this is a friendly reminder to be up to date on your vaccinations. Routine vaccines protect you and those around you from preventable illness that can be detrimental to your health.

 

Just recently, there was a meningitis outbreak in Toronto, a condition that causes inflammation to the brain and spinal cord and can be fatal. In the United States and United Kingdom, cases of Polio have also been reported – a condition that can lead to permanent paralysis (can’t move parts of the body). Vaccination protects against these and other debilitating illnesses.

 

Our family health team has continued to provide patients with their recommended vaccines throughout the pandemic. Please contact your health provider if you have any questions regarding your vaccinations.

 

Being up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines is also recommended to keep you safe as the pandemic continues. The vaccine will decrease your risk of getting COVID-19, but most importantly, it significantly reduces your risk of getting severely ill and requiring admission to hospital.

 

Children aged 6 months up to 5 years are eligible to get 2 doses of the Moderna vaccine, with each dose being 8 weeks apart.

 

Kids and teens aged 5 and up are eligible for a 3rd dose (or booster dose) using the Pfizer vaccine at least 3 months (84 days) after receiving their 2-dose series.

 

While new bivalent vaccines (targeting both the original strain and the Omicron strain of the COVID-19 virus) are being approved this fall, these will not be available to kids and teens for some time. It is therefore recommended to receive the currently available COVID-19 vaccines for this age group.

 

To book an appointment in Ontario, please call 1-833-943-3900 (open 8am-8pm, seven days a week), or visit the provincial website https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-ontario. If you live in York Region, you can also book an appointment at https://www.york.ca/health/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination-clinics. You can also schedule an appointment with your local pharmacy.

 

Finally, we will be offering Influenza vaccinations (“Flu shots”) later this fall. Please check our website (https://www.markhamfht.com/) for details about how to arrange an appointment.

 

Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable school year.