OPH flu vaccine clinics to run 7 days a week, 10 hours a day
Health officials want 70 per cent of Ottawa's population to get the vaccine this year
Local health officials are launching Ottawa's largest-ever flu vaccine campaign, running six daily public clinics across the city.
"Getting the flu vaccine is essential every year, but given the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is of the utmost importance during the 2020/2021 influenza season," said Dr. Trevor Arnason, an associate medical officer of health for Ottawa Public Health (OPH).
"Collectively, we must work together to protect our most vulnerable and ensure that we do not overwhelm our health care system. If you don't normally get a flu vaccine, please get one this year."
Symptoms of influenza are similar to those of COVID-19, so people who come down with the flu would likely have to have a test for coronavirus, said Arnason.
Due to the pandemic, OPH will be administering the vaccine at its clinics by appointment only. Slots at one of the six clinics that are open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., can be booked online, or by calling 613-580-6744. The booking begins on Thursday, although the clinics don't open until Oct. 29.
OPH expects demand to be high, and that residents shouldn't be discouraged if they appointments fill up quickly, as more booking slots will be made available.
"We will continue vaccinating people for as long as it's needed," OPH's manager of the vaccine program Marie-Claude Turcotte, told reporters Thursday.
The clinics are located across the city at these locations:
- Notre-Dame-Des-Champs Community Hall, 3659 Navan Road, Orléans.
- Ottawa Public Library-Orleans Branch, 1705 Orléans Blvd., Orléans.
- Lansdowne, Horticulture Building, 1525 Princess Patricia Way.
- Mary Pitt Centre, 100 Constellation Dr., Nepean.
- Chapman Mills Community Building, 424 Chapman Mills Drive, Barrhaven.
- Eva James Memorial Centre, 65 Stonehaven Drive, Kanata.
People can also get the flu shot from their family doctors and some pharmacies, although pharmacies cannot administer the flu shot to small children between six months and four years old.
OPH wants to see 70 per cent of Ottawans, or about 700,000 people, get a flu shot this year. During last year's flu season, about 444,000 people opted into the vaccine.