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Vaccine clinics planned for communities along the north shore

Residents throughout the Superior North region will have opportunities to get their COVID and flu shots throughout the month.

Several COVID-19 and influenza vaccination clinics are set to be offered by the Thunder Bay District Health Unit to communities across the north shore through the month of December.

The Marathon Family Health Team has announced two dates for their clinics to be administered at their location in Marathon at 22 Peninsula Road.

The clinics are set for Monday and December 11 — both from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Residents are asked to book their appointment ahead of time by emailing appointments@mfht.org or by calling 807-229-3243.

For those outside of Marathon, the following clinics are offering vaccination appointments as well:

Terrace Bay and Schreiber Location: Terrace Bay Cultural Hall (13 Selkirk Ave) Date/Time: Thursday, December 14 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Nipigon and Red Rock Location: Nipigon Family Health Team Office (125 Hogan Rd) Date/Time: Friday, December 8 and Tuesday, December 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Greenstone Location: Greenstone Public Health Office (510 Hogarth Ave W, Geraldton) Date/Time: Tuesday, December 5, December 12, and December 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

North of Superior Healthcare president Adam Brown who reminded people to mask-up in long term care facilities and exercise caution throughout the season.

“We continue to encourage vaccination where it’s appropriate for you — both the flu and COVID — and we’re partnering with our family health team and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit on ensuring as much as possible that there are available vaccinations and spaces in the communities that we serve. We’re partnering with the greatest folks to make sure that happens,” Brown said.

NOSH has implemented a mask mandate at all of their facilities in their catchment area and continues to test all healthcare staff on a routine basis.

With over 4,520 newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the province, 38,885 confirmed cases to date for the 2023-24 surveillance period, and a recent spike in cases in Algoma, it’s clear that the coronavirus is something still worth keeping an eye on – even with an ease on overall regulations.

Diana Gowanlock, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit's director of health protection and chief nursing officer, also shared some tips to avoid COVID and the flu this season including staying up to date with vaccines, staying home when sick, wearing a mask in public, routintely clean hands and cover coughs and sneezes, and frequently clean high touch surfaces such as doorknobs and light switches.

"Further opportunities [for vaccination] will be offered in the winter of 2024 should the need arise," Gowanlock said. "[The] flu vaccine is also available at participating district pharmacies."

And, with an ongoing physician shortage in Northern Ontario, limiting visits to the doctor and the emergency department remains crucial to avoid continued strain on healthcare workers and resources.

Austin Campbell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, SNnewswatch.com