Sudbury

Pharmacies, family doctors giving more flu shots

More doctors and pharmacies are now administering flu shots instead of health units in Ontario, according to public health officials in Sudbury, Ont.

Ontario health units now give less than 10 per cent of flu shots: Sudbury health unit

More flu shots are now being administered by pharmacists and in doctors' offices instead of at clinics offered by health units, say public health officials in Sudbury. (Toby Talbot/Associated Press)

More doctors and pharmacies are now administering flu shots instead of health units in Ontario, according to public health officials in Sudbury, Ont.

The Sudbury and District Health Unit said it will be offering fewer community flu shot clinics this year, despite the ongoing demand for the seasonal vaccination.

"The number of community members that came to those community flu clinics had decreased drastically over the past two years," said Shannon Dowdall-Smith, a manager in the clinic and family services division at the health unit.  "That's since the ministry allowed pharmacists to give the vaccinations."

More health care professionals are now offering the flu shot, meaning less demand on health units across the province, she said, adding that less than 10 per cent of shots given across the province are now being provided by health units.

There are 50 pharmacies in the Sudbury health unit's area that offer flu shots, Dowdall-Smith said.

"It's just proven to be far more convenient for people,"  she continued. "They can go seven-days-a-week, they can go in the evenings, they don't need an appointment."

Many physicians also call their patients to come in for the shots, Dowdall-Smith said.

Despite there being more options in the community for the vaccinations, the Sudbury health unit continues to provide daily flu clinics at its Paris Street location, as well as at its branch offices in Chapleau, Espanola and Mindemoya.

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