Reserve your flu shot as soon as possible, says Ottawa Public Health at fall campaign launch

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Ottawa Public Health is urging residents to book their flu shot « as soon as possible » as it predicts a fall and winter that is expected to have both more flu than usual and an increase in the spread of COVID- 19.

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OPH announced on Wednesday that it is launching its annual flu vaccination campaign with the general public eligible for a vaccine from a health care provider or participating pharmacy beginning Nov. 1.

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« We can all continue our efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and influenza, » the health unit said.

« The best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and the healthcare system is vaccination, wearing a mask, washing your hands regularly and staying home if you are sick. »

Older people and people at high risk are already eligible for the flu vaccine.

The health unit will hold flu shot clinics for children ages six months to two years and their family members. Families can make an appointment starting at 10 a.m. on October 31.

Newcomers and people not covered by OHIP who cannot get a flu shot through a doctor or pharmacy can also make appointments at clinics, which will run Tuesday through Saturday at locations across the city.

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Public health officials say people aged five and older can safely receive COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time.

But children aged six months to under five years old who have received the Moderna Spikevax or Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should not receive another vaccine within 14 days before or after.

« This is a precaution to help determine if a potential side effect is due to the COVID-19 vaccine or another vaccine, » OPH said.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, congestion, headache or body aches, chills, fatigue, and decreased appetite.

Most people get better within a week to 10 days, but some, especially children under five, the elderly, and those who are immunocompromised or pregnant, are at greater risk of pneumonia and other potentially life-threatening complications. deadly, OPH said.


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