Joint Release – RVH and Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

SIMCOE MUSKOKA – All eligible long-term care (LTC) residents, along with some essential caregivers, across Simcoe Muskoka have received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

With the government’s direction that the Pfizer vaccine could be safely transported, immunization immediately focused on the region’s long-term care homes. The LTC immunization roll-out began January 11th and in less than a week 3,545 people in 30 LTC homes were vaccinated by a mobile team from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) in collaboration with Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH). The next phase of the vaccination roll-out includes more than 3,000 residents in the region’s 52 retirement homes over the next 10 days.

“PLACEHOLDER QUOTE FROM CHUCK” said Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

The COVID-19 Immunization Clinic in Barrie, a partnership between SMDHU, RVH and the City of Barrie, opened December 22, 2020. Since then, almost 13,000 (12,885 as of Jan. 17) doses of the vaccine have been administered to long-term care and retirement home employees and essential caregivers, and prioritized hospital workers.

“This is a significant milestone in our immunization roll-out plan. By vaccinating residents of long-term care homes, and now residents in retirement homes, we are taking another important, and critical step, in the fight against COVID,” says Janice Skot, RVH’s president and chief executive officer. “By getting the vaccine to those who need it most, as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible, we will save lives.”

Once supply and delivery of the Pfizer vaccine increases, the immunization plan will continue to be rolled-out to priority groups, including Indigenous communities and healthcare workers.

The public is reminded that during the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine it’s important that everyone continue to strictly follow public health measures to reduce and prevent transmission of the virus: Wear a mask, physically distance from those outside your household, wash your hands frequently, stay home if you are sick, and get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms.

For more information, visit the health unit’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunization web page or call Health Connection to speak with a public health professional weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 (1-877-721-7520). More information about the vaccine and immunization can also be found at

For more Information:

Media Coordinators
705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520