Flu Shots Available Starting November 1st
TORONTO — With Health Canada approval of the Pfizer bivalent vaccine, everyone aged 12 and over is eligible to get a bivalent COVID-19 booster dose starting Monday, October 17 if they have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine series. The Ontario government is reminding people to stay up-to-date with their vaccines as we enter respiratory illness season.
It is also important to get your annual flu shot. Starting November 1, flu shots will be available through your health care provider, public health unit and in participating pharmacies. Flu shots may safely be given at the same time, or at any time before or after COVID-19 vaccine. Find out more at ontario.ca/flu.
“The colder weather is here which means an increase in respiratory illnesses,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Getting vaccinated remains the best defence against the flu and COVID-19 to help keep Ontarians healthy and out of hospitals. This will also ensure the province can continue its efforts to keep Ontario and its businesses open.”
As Ontario receives its first shipments of the Pfizer bivalent vaccine from the federal government this week, Ontarians aged 12 to 17 will be able to receive their booster on Monday, October 17. Appointments can be booked now through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre (PVCC) at 1-833-943-3900. Eligible individuals can also book an appointment directly through public health units that use their own booking systems, Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating health care providers and participating pharmacies.
“We are entering into the fall season where traditionally we see a rise in cases of respiratory illness, including COVID-19,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Vaccines improve your immune response and reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and post-infection symptoms. We recommend Ontarians stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations at the appropriate interval since their last dose, and get an annual flu shot when it becomes available.”
In addition to getting vaccinated, those over 60 years of age can also access antiviral treatments such as Paxlovid if they have COVID-19 symptoms. Learn more about COVID-19 treatments and review your eligibility by using Ontario’s antiviral screener tool, speaking with your health care provider or calling 811.
To help keep everyone as healthy as possible this fall and winter season, Ontarians should stay home when they are feeling sick and continue to practise good hand hygiene.