The Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit reported a privacy breach on Friday related to an email sent to residents about COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

The health unit says it is working to immediately address the breach involving a mass email sent to approximately 500 clients in its region.

Officials say the email was sent to email addresses people had provided when booking initial COVID vaccine appointments, but people receiving the emails were able to see the email addresses of all other recipients.

The Health Unit said it’s immediately following up with people affected by the email and has also reported the breach to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

The Health Unit asks anyone who received these emails to delete them immediately and strongly urges recipients of the email not to forward the email to any other person or party, so the breach is not compounded.

“We take this issue very seriously and sincerely apologize for this incident,” says Dr. Natalie Bocking, Medical Officer of Health for the HKPR District Health Unit. 

“We are reaching out to affected individuals and also working internally to ensure there is no repeat of this situation.”

If anyone needs to contact the Health Unit, they can do so by emailing [email protected] or calling 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020.