Free flu shot, new COVID-19 vaccines now available
Tim Brody - Editor
Ontarians are now able to receive their free flu shot and the new, most recent COVID-19 vaccine at local pharmacies, public health units, and primary health care providers across the province.
“Getting your COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot is the best way to keep yourself, your loved ones and your community healthy,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health in an Oct. 29 media release. “Our government is ensuring you have access to the tools you need this fall respiratory season by making COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots available in convenient locations close to home, at no cost to Ontarians.”
People can receive both a COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot at the same time, reducing the need for multiple visits. “The new COVID-19 vaccines now available are specifically designed to target the XBB variant and were approved by Health Canada earlier this fall,” the provincial government informed.
All Ontarians six months and older can receive their next COVID-19 dose if it has been a recommended six months since their last dose or confirmed COVID-19 infection. The provincial government stated that Ontarians are encouraged to speak with a health care professional to help determine their appropriate vaccination schedule.
“With the expected co-circulation of influenza, COVID-19 and RSV over the fall and winter, I encourage Ontarians to get their COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot as soon as they can,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Especially those who are elderly, immunocompromised, or have medical conditions that make you particularly susceptible to harm from respiratory illnesses.”
To reduce the risk of spreading illness, individuals are advised to wash their hands often, cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, clean surfaces and shared items regularly and stay at home when sick.