The Northwestern Health Unit isn’t worried about reports of pharmacies running out of stock on the influenza vaccine elsewhere in the province, as staff say the local supply is in good shape.

“Currently, there is no shortage of the influenza vaccine,” confirmed Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Northwestern Health Unit, Dr. Kit Young-Hoon.

“We will continue to get more vaccines from the Ministry of Health throughout the fall, and we will continue to add additional flu shot appointments to our clinics as needed.”

There were reports in southern Ontario that some pharmacies may be running out of stock of the vaccine earlier this month, but Health Minister Christine Elliott denied these reports.

Ontario has invested an additional $70 million to purchase an additional 700,000 flu vaccines this year, to help prepare the country against the combined threat of influenza and COVID-19.

A flu shot is recommended for anyone over the age of 6 months. It also helps protect those at risk, which include pregnant women, those with chronic health conditions, or those looking after those with high-risk conditions.

There is also a ‘high dose’ influenza vaccine for residents over the age of 65, which will also help protect you from the illness. It has not been proven to be more effective than the standard dose. Either shot will keep residents as safe as possible this winter season.

“We are pleased to see high public uptake of influenza vaccine, it will help to prevent the spread of influenza. To stay healthy, I strongly encourage everyone in the region to get a flu shot and continue to practise personal preventive measures,” added Young-Hoon.

You can book an appointment to get your free flu shot at pharmacies, from your family doctor or nurse, or from the health unit.

Appointments are only for one person per appointment, and will allow only one parent per child. If you are sick ahead of your appointment, you’re asked to not come and to call ahead and rebook.

Last flu season, there were about 5,719 flu-related hospitalizations in Ontario and 280 flu-related deaths.

For more information:
Flu shot is vital this winter, NWHU