Marianne Wilkinson

Councillor, Kanata North

Getting your flu shot in Ottawa has never been easier

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) launched the 2013 Influenza Immunization Campaign at the OPH Immunization Clinic at 100 Constellation Drive. Deputy Mayor Steve Desroches, Board of Health Chair Councillor Diane Holmes, Dr. Isra Levy, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health and Amira Abdalla, President of the Ottawa-Carleton Pharmacists Association, announced residents have better access to the flu vaccine through more convenient options throughout the City of Ottawa.

“Anyone can get the flu and getting the flu shot is the safest and most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick,” said Deputy Mayor Desroches. “With more than 340 physicians’ offices and walk-in clinics and close to 140 pharmacies in Ottawa offering the vaccine this year, Ottawa residents now have increased opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones from the flu.”

“Thanks to OPH’s extensive distribution network and partnerships, I am pleased that we are offering increased access for all residents to get the flu vaccine throughout our community,” said Councillor Holmes. “With the vaccine available in more locations, getting the flu shot is now more convenient and accessible for all residents, including those who are at greater risk for complications from the flu including young children, the elderly and people with chronic conditions.”

This year, OPH is offering 22 community clinics throughout the city starting October 26 through to November 28, and residents can also visit public clinics taking place at six Ottawa hospitals. As pharmacists can only administer the flu vaccine to residents over the age of five, OPH will also be holding flu vaccine clinics by appointment only for children under five years of age and for their parents and siblings at the OPH Immunization Clinic located on the main floor at 100 Constellation Drive.

“Getting sick with the flu can last several days and for people with other health issues, it can lead to serious illness,” said Dr. Levy. “In the last year alone, the flu and complications from the illness resulted in more than 3,600 hospitalizations in Ontario, including 120 in Ottawa. Alongside good hand hygiene and cough etiquette, getting the flu shot is the best protection against becoming ill.”

“Ottawa pharmacists welcome the opportunity to join forces again this year with OPH to make the flu vaccine more accessible and convenient for residents,” said Amira Abdalla, President of the Ottawa-Carleton Pharmacists Association. “Last season, Ottawa pharmacists gave more than 42,000 flu shots to local residents and we anticipate that with a two-fold increase of pharmacies offering the vaccine this year, visiting your local pharmacy for your flu shot will continue to be a popular option for residents ages five and older.”

Residents can visit ottawa.ca/flu for a complete list of OPH clinics and participating pharmacies offering the flu vaccine or visit the Ontario flu locator to find the nearest location offering the flu vaccine.

Along with getting the flu shot and to keep you and your family healthy, it’s important to remember these three things:

• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hand

• Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer

• Stay at home if you are sick

For more information, please visit ottawa.ca/flu or call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with OPH on Facebook, Twitter (@ottawahealth), Tumblr or Pinterest.

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