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Health Unit Notifying Secondary Students to Update Their Immunization Records

SIMCOE MUSKOKA –The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is reminding secondary school students to update their immunization record on file with the health unit by September 26th to comply with the Immunization of School Pupils Act and avoid suspension from school.

In Ontario, vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (for those born in 2010 and after) and meningococcal disease are required under the act, unless there is a valid exemption. Hepatitis B and HPV vaccines are strongly recommended.

“We know that many secondary school students were unable to receive their routine and required immunizations during the pandemic” says Dr. Colin Lee, associate medical officer of health at SMDHU. “That’s why the health unit has spent the last year working with families to update their student’s vaccinations and has offered catch up vaccination clinics to give students the opportunity to get immunized if they are behind.”

The health unit has mailed over 4,500 suspension orders to secondary school students in Simcoe Muskoka whose immunization record on file with the health unit is not up to date. This is the third notice that most of these students have received from the health unit.

The suspension order notifies students and parents that immunization records must be updated with the health unit by Sept. 26, 2023, or they will be suspended from school for up to 20 days. Once the missing immunization information is provided to the health unit, the student is removed from the suspension list and can return to school. The health unit is committed to working with families and our school partners to ensure that students records get updated and avoid suspension from school.

If students received their routine and required immunization through their healthcare provider, they need to report this information to the health unit. This can easily be done online at smdhu.org or by calling the health unit’s Health Connection line.

Families who do not have a healthcare provider can book an immunization appointment at any of the health unit’s offices in Collingwood, Cookstown, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Midland and Orillia, or at the at 29 Sperling Dr. clinic in Barrie.

For more information about routine and required vaccines for students and the diseases they prevent, please visit smdhu.org. To speak with a public health professional, call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.



Skip the expensive store-bought seed crackers and make your own in a few simple steps.

These uber-crunchy crackers require no kneading or rolling. Simply mix together the wholesome ingredients, soak for 15 minutes and bake on low heat for a couple of hours. So delish when served with hummus or topped with your favourite variety of cheese.


  • 3/4 cup (188 ml) ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) unsalted pumpkin seeds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup (83 ml) sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup (63 ml) chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (7.5 ml) dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried oregano, optional
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) crushed rosemary, optional
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon (2.5–5 ml) salt, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) black ground pepper, optional
  • 1 1/4 cup (313 ml) boiling water


  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 Celsius).
  2. Chop the pumpkin seeds by hand or use a food processor.
  3. Combine all of the dry ingredients.
  4. Stir in the boiling water and let stand for 15 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken.
  5. Spread the cracker mixture with a spatula onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Create a thin layer.
  6. Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. The cracker mixture is done when all of the water has been absorbed and the crackers are crispy.
  7. Once fully cooled, cut or break apart the cracker mixture into evenly sized pieces.
  8. Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.


Joanne Nijhuis MSc, RD is a consulting, media and culinary dietitian in Simcoe Grey Bruce on a mission to entertain and educate through her love of food. In addition to recipe development and writing for several publications, Joanne offers cooking demos/classes and individual counselling – in person and online via Zoom Health. For more information, email Joanne at jo.knows.nutrition@outlook.com

www.joknowsnutrition.com             Instagram: jo_knows_nutrition          Facebook: jo_knows_nutrition

Did You Know?

Not only are seeds a great source of fibre, they also contain heart healthy fats, plant-based protein, antioxidants and several important vitamins and minerals. Sneak in some extra nutrition by incorporating flax, chia, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp or sesame seeds into your baked goods, breakfast cereals, casseroles and stir-fry recipes. Extremely versatile, seeds are even terrific as a topping for salads or as a substitute for breadcrumbs on fish, poultry or meat.

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