Starting October 25 at 10 am, appointment booking will be open for flu vaccinations at Ottawa Public Health (OPH) community vaccine clinics for parents with children aged six months to two years old and their immediate families and for people experiencing barriers to getting the flu vaccine.

Starting in November, residents will also be able to receive their flu vaccine through their family doctor or local participating pharmacy. Ottawa Public Health is using a targeted approach for this season’s community flu vaccine clinics to accommodate the anticipated COVID-19 vaccination program for children aged five to 11 and the expansion of third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for some individuals.

New this flu season, individuals two years of age and older can visit participating pharmacies to receive their flu vaccine. Individuals aged six months and older may also receive their flu vaccine from their family doctor or nurse practitioner. Anyone aged six months and older who lives, works or attends school in Ontario is eligible to receive the publicly funded flu vaccine at no cost.

For the 2021-2022 flu season, Ottawa Public Health will be offering flu vaccines by appointment for the following groups:

  • Children aged six months to two years and their household members
  • Individuals experiencing barriers to getting the flu vaccine which include:
    • Being a newcomer to Canada
    • Having no Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card
    • Having no primary care provider, such as a doctor or nurse, and those who have had difficulty accessing the vaccine at a pharmacy

Individuals in these groups can book their flu vaccine appointments starting October 25 at 10 am by visiting OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Flu, with appointments available starting November 2 at the four community clinics:

  • Eva James Community Centre – 65 Stonehaven Drive
  • Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA, Orléans – 265 Centrum Boulevard
  • Minto Sports Complex at University of Ottawa – 801 King Edward Avenue
  • J.H. Putman Public School – 2051 Bel-Air Drive

Ottawa Public Health cannot guarantee drop-in requests at its clinics for flu vaccine and it is recommended to book an appointment.

Flu vaccines will also be available at neighbourhood vaccination hubs for people who do not have a health care provider or do not have a health card.  Individuals who have not received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are able to receive both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time. On September 28, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) provided guidance that indicates that COVID-19 vaccines can be administered at the same time as other vaccines, including the flu vaccine.

The flu, or seasonal influenza, is a common contagious infection that affects the nose, throat, and lungs. It is spread through droplets that have been coughed or sneezed by someone who has the flu. You can get the flu by shaking hands with someone who has the flu or by touching surfaces that have come into contact with flu droplets, and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Flu symptoms include a sudden fever as well as a cough and/or a sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, headache or body aches, and chills. You may feel more tired than usual and have a lower appetite. Most people will recover within a week to 10 days, but some people are at greater risk of severe complications, such as pneumonia or death. Influenza infection can also worsen certain chronic conditions, such as heart disease.

Getting your annual flu vaccine is an important way to help protect yourself, your family and high-risk individuals in your community against seasonal flu. We can help reduce flu transmission in the community and keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed while COVID-19 continues to be present.