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Toronto Public Health launches first flu vaccine clinic

Last Updated Nov 8, 2019 at 1:43 pm EDT

A person gets a shot during a flu vaccine program in Calgary on Oct. 26, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Toronto Public Health launched its first flu vaccine clinic on Friday at the Toronto Reference Library on Yonge Street.

The city’s medical officer of health and Board of Health chair, Joe Cressy were on hand and rolled up their sleeves.

“These four free flu immunization clinics for the public and the clinics being planned for vulnerable populations in local shelters and drop-in centres are one of the many ways Toronto Public Health works behind the scenes in our community to protect and promote good health among all of our residents,” Cressy said.

“Anyone can get the flu, and getting vaccinated really is the best way to prevent it.”

Flu shots will be administered there from noon to 7 p.m.

Three other clinics will open throughout the flu season to help spread the word about the importance of vaccinations.

“The flu vaccine is the most effective method we have to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities against the flu,” Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, said.

“Thankfully most people recover from the flu, but it can cause a lot of harm to people who are more vulnerable such as seniors and very young children. Canadian statistics show there are more than 12,000 hospitalizations each year due to flu and hundreds locally.”

The shot, which is now available in doctor’s offices and pharmacies across Ontario, is free for Ontario residents.

Last week, the provincial government kicked off its annual flu shot campaign at Women’s College Hospital.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said it’s the best way to protect yourself and others from this contagious disease.

“Every Ontarian can join our efforts to put an end to hallway health care by getting their flu shot,” said Elliott.

“In fact, getting your flu shot is an important part of keeping all Ontarians healthy and out of the hospital, while reducing the strain on our emergency departments. The flu shot will be available across the province to protect you and your family.”

Children, pregnant women and people 65 and older are at high risk for flu-related complications.