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Flu shot now available to all Ontarians

Click to play video: 'Infectious disease experts predict bad flu season ahead'
Infectious disease experts predict bad flu season ahead
Infectious disease experts predict bad flu season ahead – Sep 27, 2021

The flu shot is now widely available to all Ontarians over the age of two through their doctor and nurse practitioner offices, pharmacies and public health units.

Those between the ages of six months and two years can get a flu shot from a doctor, nurse practitioner or local public health unit.

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“Timing and availability of doses may vary slightly depending on the location so Ontarians are encouraged to check with their local pharmacy, family physician or provider in advance,” a spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott told Global News in an email.

On Oct. 19, the province announced it had purchased 7.6 million flu vaccine doses for this winter, an increase of 1.4 million over last winter. The total price tag for this year’s allotment was $89 million.

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“The annual flu shot is the best defence against the flu this season,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s medical officer of health in a release at the time of the announcement.

“As we head into the fall and begin gathering indoors more often with family and friends, it is even more important to get your flu shot, in addition to following public health measures, to protect yourself and those around you.”

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Health Matters: New study suggests the flu shot can protect kids from severe COVID-19

In September, the flu shots were distributed to long-term care home residents and hospital patients and when the announcement was made, they were then being distributed to seniors and others most at risk for complications through the flu.

But now anyone can get a flu shot and the province says it has switched up its allocation, providing 40 per cent of doses to pharmacies in an effort to better increase distribution. A year ago, that number was 36 per cent.

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“It is safe to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot at the same time, so if you’re receiving your flu shot and still have yet to receive a first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, now is the time,”  Elliott stated.

The province says that Ontarians need to be patient as the vaccines arrive in allotments so if a location runs out, it may take time to re-up their supply.

“Ontarians are encouraged to be patient as it may take time for shipments to arrive to their local flu shot locations,” the release stated.

The province says that there were only about 25 per cent of normal cases reported last winter. It did not provide the exact number but did say there were 12,829 confirmed lab cases two winters ago.

 

 

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