High demand for flu shots expected

Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Hofmeester.

Lambton Public Health is getting ready to host several clinics in November for residents to get their annual influenza vaccine.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade said this year, appointments must be booked to attend public health clinics.

“It’s not going to be walk-in or drop-in,” he said. “We anticipate a significant demand for flu vaccines this year and so we need to make sure that we are able to control capacity and appointments to make sure that people are not too crowded in or waiting for long periods out in the cold.”

Other methods to receive a flu shot, such as visiting a pharmacy or primary care provider, will also be available.

Ranade said he expects people who were vaccinated against COVID-19 will likely get the influenza vaccine as well this year.

The number of flu cases reported last year was very low, however, a resurgence is expected since COVID-19 restrictions have loosened.

Roughly 40 per cent of the population in Ontario received the flu shot last year, which is an increase from 30 per cent in 2019.

The health unit said people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 are able to safely get the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time.

Flu shot appointments can be booked online now through the health unit’s website. The vaccine call centre can also help Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 226-254-8222.

A list of upcoming clinics can also be found by clicking, here.

Flu season typically runs from November to April. Common symptoms of influenza include high fever, chills, sore throat, cough, and muscle aches. Those who are more vulnerable to flu complications include people who are pregnant, residents 65 plus, and those under the age of five.