Family flu shots by appointment coming for Elgin and Oxford: SWPH

Family flu shots by appointment coming for Elgin and Oxford: SWPH

Toronto Public Health began accepting online bookings for its flu shot clinics on Tuesday but as of 9 a.m. this morning the first 11 clinics had already been fully booked, meaning that the earliest that anyone can get an appointment at a Toronto Public Health clinic is now November 12. In addition, traditional flu clinic locations may have changed due to these precautions and other public health measures.

Leading by example, Mayor John Tory, the City's Medical Officer of Health, Doctor Eileen de Villa, and Board of Health Chair Joe Cressy, are all rolling up their sleeves to get their flu shot on Thursday morning.

Providers also remind the public that numerous safety precations taken for Covid-19 can also help prevent the spread of the flu. "Because of COVID-19 this often feels like a world over which we don't have a lot of control".

CTV News Toronto spoke with several doctors on Thursday who said that they were anxious about getting their hands on enough doses of the flu shot to vaccinate all of their clients who have expressed an interest in it.

During the 2019-2020 season, approximately 157,970 people received the flu shots through the province's publicy-funded vaccination program. "It is a vaccine that is freely available, proven to be safe, and is particularly important this year during flu season as part of our ongoing efforts to mitigate the additional challenges to our provincial health care system from COVID-19".

The pop-up clinics are designed for those who don't have insurance or those who can't get the vaccine from their health care provider or pharmacy.

Everyone six months and older can line up for a flu shot starting Monday as the annual flu campaign begins across the province. She also confirmed that OPH has contingency plans to further expand capacity if demand requires it.

OPH is now booking appointments, with flu clinics set to open on Thursday, October 29.

"We just wanted to make it more convenient and really push home the message that this is an important year to get your flu shot". Contracting flu virus and COVID-19 concurrently increases the risk of serious health complications.