Toronto Public Health (TPH) is launching a fourth community flu vaccine clinic on October 31 at the Scarborough Town Centre, Exterior Unit D3, located at 410 Progress Avenue. The clinic is operated by appointment only. Appointments must be booked online through an online booking system which launched for this clinic this morning. This is to ensure that appropriate physical distancing and infection prevention and control measures can be followed at the clinic to reduce the potential risk of virus spread and keep residents safer.
This year, TPH has administered approximately 1,000 flu vaccines in less than one week since launching its annual community clinics on October 22. The four annual flu vaccine clinics operate until the end of December with all appointments booked online.
Flu activity usually peaks between the end of December and beginning of January, so it is recommended that residents get vaccinated before then. In Ontario, the Ministry of Health procures and distributes the flu vaccine. All Toronto residents who wish to get the flu vaccine will also be able to get vaccinated at doctors’ offices or participating pharmacies. TPH supports delivery of the flu vaccine through its annual community clinics along with administering the vaccine at approximately 60 pop-up clinics in shelters, drop-in centres and interim lodging sites for vulnerable Torontonians. Last year, TPH administered a total of 7,621 flu vaccine doses to residents.
Getting vaccinated against the flu may also reduce the number of individuals who need COVID-19 testing, as the symptoms are very similar. Annual flu vaccine is important to protect vulnerable residents from more severe illness. This includes older adults, individuals with chronic and pre-existing health conditions, residents of nursing homes and chronic care facilities, children six months to five years of age and pregnant women.
Influenza, also known as the flu, can spread to others before symptoms even appear. The flu is spread from person to person by small droplets produced by a cough or sneeze or through contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects, similar to COVID-19. Typical flu symptoms include a high fever, chills, sore throat, cough and muscle aches. Other common symptoms include headache, loss of appetite and feeling tired. Symptoms of the flu can be difficult to tell apart from symptoms of COVID-19 without a test. Recovering from the flu usually takes a week to 10 days, but for some people it can worsen pre-existing health conditions such as asthma or heart disease or develop into more serious health problems such as pneumonia and, in rare circumstances, can be fatal.
The flu vaccine is free for people six months of age and older who live, work or attend school in Ontario. A health card is not required at a TPH clinic. TPH flu vaccine appointments are available from now until December and can be booked online. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, walk-in appointments will not be available this year.
More information about the flu is available online.
“This year, we are encouraging residents to get their flu shot to help us in the fight against COVID-19. The vast majority of people get their flu shots from their doctor or at their local pharmacy. Toronto Public Health helps support the province’s flu campaign with four public clinics including this location opening in Scarborough along with administering the vaccine at 60 pop-up clinics at shelters, drop-in centres and interim lodging sites. Thank you to everyone involved in the annual flu shot campaign this year – your efforts will make a difference and are helping our residents.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Making sure you get your flu shot this fall is an essential part of keeping yourself, your loved ones, and our city healthy and safe. It’s important that everyone can easily access a flu shot in their community, no matter where they live. That’s why Toronto Public Health is working to scale up the number of appointments that are available for people to get the flu shot in TPH flu vaccine clinics across the city.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Ward 10 Spadina-Fort York), Chair, Toronto Board of Health
“The flu affects thousands of Toronto residents each year and can lead to a very serious infection for some. Getting your annual flu vaccine is the best way to prevent getting sick from the flu. This year it’s more important than ever to get your flu vaccine early to help protect yourself, others from severe illness, and reduce the burden on our health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is why I encourage everyone who can to get their flu vaccine at one of our clinics, your local doctor’s office, or at a local participating pharmacy to protect our community.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.