PEI

OK to have shots for both COVID-19 and flu, health officials say

The annual roll-out of the flu shot campaign began Tuesday on P.E.I. Public Health is offering flu vaccinations by appointment. Community vaccination clinics will also be offered in Souris, Montague, Charlottetown and O'Leary. No appointment is required at pharmacies.

Free flu vaccines now available at clinics, pharmacies on P.E.I.

Margie McLane, a pharmacist at Murphy's Pharmacy in Stratford, says there is no need to wait between shots for COVID-19 and the flu. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

Islanders are rolling up their sleeves once again, but not just for a COVID-19 shot.

Tuesday was the first day to get the flu vaccine on Prince Edward Island.

Public health officials say this could be an extraordinary flu season, because of the potential co-infection of the flu and COVID-19, so they're encouraging all Islanders to get the flu shot.

Lori Linkletter of Charlottetown wasted no time getting hers Tuesday morning. 

"I've had the flu in the past and it was very serious," she said.

Linkletter has compromised immunity, so she's prepared to do whatever it takes to protect her and her family from another bout of the flu, she said.

"Working with children is my main job so I feel it's a good priority to keep myself safe and keep them safe."

Murphy's Pharmacy in Stratford brought in extra staff to help administer the shots.

Lori Linkletter says getting the flu shot is a priority for her because she is immune-compromised. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

Pharmacist Margie McLane said there are lots of questions around the flu shot and COVID-19.

She said even if you have the COVID-19 shot, you do need to get the flu shot. And you can get the two vaccinations together or within any time frame. There is no need to wait between shots.  

"We do know that if you get the flu and COVID together, there's more risk of complications and severe disease so it is important to protect yourself as much as you can with the COVID shot as well as the flu shot."

There were no known cases of the flu last year on P.E.I. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

According to the Chief Public Health Office, there were no known cases of the flu on the Island last year, likely due to the health measures in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The flu shot is free. Public Health will offer flu vaccinations by appointment. Community vaccination clinics will also be offered in Souris, Montague, Charlottetown and O'Leary.

With files from Wayne Thibodeau

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