COVID-19 and the flu shot: 'It is even more important to get your flu shot' this year, Ontario officials say

·2 min read
COVID-19 and the flu shot: 'It is even more important to get your flu shot' this year, Ontario officials say

Christine Elliott, Ontario's Deputy Premier and Minister of Health confirmed the province has purchased 7.6 million flu vaccine doses, 1.4 million more than last year.

"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 all of those around you," Elliott said at a press conference on Tuesday.

When do flu shots start in Ontario?

Ontario's initially supply of flu shots have been used to protect long-term care home residents and hospital patients. This month, flu shots are available for seniors 65 and older, children between six months and four years old, pregnant women and "other individuals at high risk of flu complications."

In November, the flu shot will be available to all Ontarians in pharmacies, doctors and nurse practitioners offices, and through public health units. Pharmacies will be receiving about 40 per cent of the allocated doses in Ontario.

Elliott said the province will continue to receive the flu vaccine in "multiple shipments" next month and encourages Ontarians to "be patient and call ahead to ensure the flu shot is available at your doctors office or at your neighbourhood pharmacy."

How does the flu shot work with the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has recommended that the COVID-19 vaccine be given on the same day, or even just days before or after, other routine vaccines, including the flu shot, to "help facilitate the rollout of the 2021 influenza vaccine program."

"Vaccines administered during the same visit should be administered at different injection sites," the NACI guidance reads

"As with other vaccines, when possible, administration on the same day is preferred to vaccines being given within a few days of each other."

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