Some Ottawa residents will have their first chance to book a flu vaccine appointment starting next week.
Parents with children ages six months to two years, and their immediate families, as well as people experiencing barriers to getting the flu vaccine, will be able to book at shot at an Ottawa Public Health (OPH) community vaccine clinic starting on Monday, October 25.
Individuals experiencing barriers to getting the flu vaccine include:
- Newcomers to Canada
- Someone with no Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card
- Someone with no primary care provider, such as a doctor or nurse, and those who have had difficulty accessing the vaccine at a pharmacy
The following week (November 1), all residents will be able to receive their flu vaccine through their family doctor or local participating pharmacy.
OPH says it's using a targeted approach for this season’s community flu vaccine clinics to accommodate the anticipated COVID-19 vaccination program for children ages five to 11, and the expansion of third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for some residents.
For the first time in a flu vaccine campaign, anyone two years of age and older will be able to visit participating pharmacies to receive their flu shot. Individuals aged six months and older may also receive their flu vaccine from their family doctor or nurse practitioner.
Anyone aged six months and older who lives, works or attends school in Ontario is eligible to receive the publicly funded flu vaccine at no cost.
OPH community flu vaccine clinics will be run at the following locations:
- Eva James Community Centre - 65 Stonehaven Dr.
- Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA, Orléans - 265 Centrum Blvd.
- Minto Sports Complex at University of Ottawa - 801 King Edward Ave.
- J.H. Putman Public School - 2051 Bel-Air Dr.
The health unit says it cannot guarantee drop-in requests at its clinic and is recommending residents book an appointment.
Individuals who have not received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are able to receive both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time. On September 28, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) provided guidance that indicates that COVID-19 vaccines can be administered at the same time as other vaccines, including the flu vaccine.
Finally, OPH is reminding residents that getting their annual flu vaccine is an important way to help protect themselves, their families and high-risk individuals in their community against seasonal flu.
"We can help reduce flu transmission in the community and keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed while COVID-19 continues to be present," says the health unit.