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COVID-19 Vaccination Now Available for Children 6 Months to Under 5 Years

As of July 28, parents and caregivers can book appointments for their children aged six months to under five years to receive their paediatric COVID-19 vaccine by using the COVID-19 vaccination portal, by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, or by visiting participating pharmacies in Simcoe and Muskoka.

“We are very pleased that children aged six months to under five years are now able to receive their COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s medical officer of health. “Evidence shows that the lower-dose paediatric Moderna Spikevax vaccine is safe and offers protection from risks of severe illness and hospitalization should they contract COVID-19. I encourage all parents and caregivers to consider getting their younger children vaccinated as soon as they are able, particularly if they have underlying health concerns or are immunocompromised.”

The Moderna Spikevax (25 mcg) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada for use in children six months to under the age of five years. In keeping with provincial guidance that is informed by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), children must be six months to under five years of age to receive the paediatric Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine. Two doses of the vaccine are recommended, with at least eight weeks (56 days) between the first and second doses. It is advised that children who have recently had COVID-19 wait to receive their vaccine until eight weeks after the start of symptoms or testing positive. A wait of 14 days between receiving another vaccine and receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is also advised for this age group.

As with any medical decision, SMDHU encourages parents and caregivers to make an informed choice about this vaccine, including speaking with their health care provider to discuss what is best for their child or contacting the SickKids COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service and booking an appointment to speak with a registered nurse. Information and resources, including ways to make the vaccination experience a positive one, is available on the health unit’s website.

Vaccination for all those who are eligible, including our youngest community members, offers the most important layer of protection against severe illness from COVID-19. Along with vaccination, the health unit continues to strongly recommend that people take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including choosing outdoor activities and socializing outside if possible, wearing a mask in indoor public settings, limiting your number of close contacts, physically distancing from people outside your household, ensuring good ventilation, and practicing proper hand hygiene. If you are feeling unwell, stay home and get tested if you have access to either rapid antigen tests or are eligible for PCR testing.



Shrimp on the Barbie – Two Ways

For a fast, easy and mouth-watering meal, why not throw some shrimp on the barbie. Here are two grilled shrimp recipes that are full of flavour and are perfect for dining al fresco. Relatively low in calories, shrimp pack a nutritional punch as they contain high amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.




  • 1 pound (454 grams) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) crushed red chilies or ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) smoked paprika (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) pepper
  • 1/4 cup (63 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2- 1 cup (125-250 ml) fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • Lime wedges for serving




  • 1 pound (454 grams) shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, finely minced, 1-2 (5-10 ml) teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh basil, finely chopped or 2 teaspoon (10 ml) dried basil
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) tomato paste or ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) black pepper


  1. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and mix in the shrimp.
  2. Marinate shrimp for no longer than 30 minutes. Otherwise, they can become mushy.
  3. Turn on the grill to medium and ensure that it has been cleaned and fully heated (i.e., 10-15 minutes) before grilling the shrimp.
  4. Meanwhile, skewer the shrimp to make the kebabs or place the shrimp in a grilling basket.
  5. Cook the shrimp 2-3 minutes per side until opaque and pink in colour.



Did You Know?

There is a better way to BBQ. The following tips may reduce the potential health concerns associated with grilling your food.

  1. Choose leans cuts of meat, trim the fat and choose poultry and fish more often.
  2. Go vegetarian sometimes and grill more fruits and veggies.
  3. Avoid high heat and charring. Do not eat the charred bits.
  4. Marinades are your best friend! Marinating before grilling reduces cancer risk according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.
  5. Choose packaged meats, like hot dogs, without additional nitrates and preservatives.
  6. Precook meat in the microwave and finish off on the grill.
  7. Clean your grill regularly to remove bits of charred food that smoke.
  8. Avoid over and under cooked food.
  9. Flip don’t Fork! Flip food often and don’t fork as piercing the meat juices causes smoke.

Submitted by: Joanne Nijhuis MSc, RD, a consulting and culinary dietitian in Simcoe Grey Bruce.


Instagram: jo_knows_nutrition



Effects of Tone of Voice

“10% of conflicts are due to a difference of opinion. 90% are due to the wrong tone of voice.”

Author unknown


There is more to spoken messages than the words we say. Tone of voice is just as important as the content of the message. Voice tone can communicate love, caring, respect and gentleness.

It can also convey disrespect, dishonoring, hostility or indifference. It can render an otherwise benign message threatening or abusive. The voice transmits energy, and can hit another like a warm, welcome Chinook, or like an icy Arctic blast.

This energy affects the recipient on many levels, and can trigger a variety of different feelings. Maybe you did not mean to say it that way, and you did not intend to offend, but, unfortunately, the damage is done.

It is a little like hitting someone, and then trying to erase their emotional response. Because it is ‘just words’, the speaker often feels he or she has not done anything ‘that bad’.

If there is a solid, loving relationship, often mutual understanding and forgiveness allows for some lapses. However, sometimes between partners, parents and children, or siblings, a disrespectful tone of voice becomes the norm in communication.

Some are not aware of their tone, and others think that a harsh tone makes them more powerful. Unbelievably, I still have clients reporting that they get yelled at in the workplace. Being a boss or supervisor does not mean you can treat employees like they are children, and you are the authoritarian father or mother.

When this sort of thing happens at work, it reflects on the one yelling. They are showing that they have not developed the professional skills to handle problems that arise. This behavior is mean and bullying, and shows the person has no control over emotions. No one deserves to be yelled at on the job. Period.

The same can be said of yellers at home. Some may think that in their own home they can do as they want. I suppose that is true. Does that mean those close to us deserve less respect than others?

Of course I understand parental frustration. But if a parent is at the point of yelling they are likely angry and may say things that the child will remember forever. If children are yelled at throughout the years, is it surprising that they become teens who yell at their parents?

Clear rules and consistent implementation of consequences can modify most behaviours. Handling situations in a calm, but determined, manner garners respect from children and employees.

If we find ourselves saying, “How many times do I have to tell you?” it shows that “telling” (or yelling) without proper instruction, working out a plan to carry out expectations, and consistent consequences is not working. A negative tone will not help any situation, while a calm respectful tone just might.

Think about whether the energy you put out to others is like that warm chinook, or more like an artic blast. Which kind of energy to prefer to receive?

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning psychologist. For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books, CDs or MP3s, visit www.gwen.ca. Follow Gwen on Facebook for inspiration. 

Gwen Randall-Young Psychological Services Ltd. | Website

(780) 464-7005 | gwendall@shaw.ca



Ask a Therapist: On Unrealistic Expectations


Q: I hear a lot of “shoulds” and “should nots” in my mind and I often feel like I am letting myself and others down. Can you help?


A: It is common to find ourselves thinking about all the things we “should” do and measuring our success according to whether or not we fulfill those expectations.


However, thinking something is true doesn’t necessarily make it so.  It is helpful to evaluate the reasonableness of the expectation behind that “should” and to moderate our thinking and behaviour accordingly to be more balanced and healthy.

Setting unrealistic expectations or high standards is another form of cognitive distortion that doesn’t serve us well. When we set exaggerated performance criteria for ourselves we are constantly measuring our worth against those standards which can move us into an unrelenting perfectionism or self-criticism. We may also have a tendency to hold others to similar standards and thus spend time judging them and expecting them to perform according to what we have deemed acceptable or right.

Our high standard setting can also infiltrate our thinking from outside sources. We regularly assume, without evaluating, that the expectations of others should also be ours. Instead of pausing to think about the value and relevance of the expectation for our lives and circumstances specifically, we continue to live as if it cannot be challenged or changed. Of course, we do have the power to choose our way forward, even when a thought pattern is well-worn in our neurobiology.  The truth is that we can form new pathways that are healthier and more compassionate to ourselves and others.

External sources of high standards can include parents, teachers, coaches, bosses, or even friends! Generally their words were not intended to discourage but our perception may be that we can’t make a mistake or fail without dire consequences. When evaluating the value or helpfulness of a particular expectation consider the question, “who says?” Then decide if that voice in your head still matters and if you actually agree that the expectation is good. It may be that you are still trying to prove your worth against the outdated expectations of others that you have carried with you.

If you have an abundance of “shoulds”, “ought”, and “musts” coming up in your thinking or in your communication to others, you may also have a strong inner critic. In this case, you will come up with your own ways of dictating what ought to be done whether others have contributed to that thinking or not. The inner critic can be loud and highly unforgiving and shaming. Therapy can be an essential tool to help someone develop tools to manage and overcome the unhelpful critic’s voice because it is not easy to do so on your own.

While not all standards or expectations are unhelpful, some certainly are and rooting those distorted patterns out of your thought life will lead to greater mental health. When you find yourself striving to meet over-the-top expectations, consider a gentler, more gracious approach. Self-compassion – which is essentially speaking to and caring for yourself in the same way that you would for a beloved friend – can change the relationship you have with your expectations and can provide a healthier perspective on what truly ought to be heeded.

Covey Wellness Centre is located at 12B Stone Street and our bookshop is currently open to the public Monday through Friday 9-5 and 9-2 at the Farmer’s Market on Fridays! Please visit CoveyWellnessCentre.com and submit the form on our Contact page to book an appointment or to inquire about our products and services. Follow us on social media @coveywellnesscentre and Eventbrite for the latest updates, resources, and event tickets! Join us to celebrate at our GRAND OPENING EVENT on September 10th and bring a friend!

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