It’s now easier for some groups to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Haliburton and Northumberland Counties, and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is offering walk-in times at its mass immunization clinics for people ages 50 years and older, as well as those who are immunocompromised. People in these groups can walk in for a COVID-19 vaccine dose from 1 to 4:30 pm on days the health unit is running its clinics in Cobourg, Lindsay, Colborne, Minden, Fenelon Falls, Brighton and Campbellford. To be eligible for a booster dose or a fourth dose, 84 days must have passed since your most recent shot.

Anyone under the age of 50 is asked to continue booking a vaccine appointment on the provincial booking system or by calling 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired: 1-866-797-0007).

“We have extra space at our COVID-19 vaccine clinics, so are pleased to begin offering walk-in times in the afternoons,” says Dr. Natalie Bocking, Medical Officer of Health. “COVID-19 vaccine boosters are especially important because they offer more protection than two doses and reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalization from the highly-infectious Omicron variant.”

Dr. Bocking is hopeful the availability of walk ins will encourage more people 70 years of age and older to get their booster dose. She is issuing a special “call to arms” for this age group, especially since the health unit has noticed booster dose uptake among this age group has plateaued recently.

“Older adults have a greater risk of getting sick from COVID-19, and that’s why we encourage anyone age 70 and older who still needs a booster dose to get one,” she says.

As of Monday, just over half of eligible residents aged 18 and older in the health unit region have received a booster dose.