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What to know about this year’s flu program

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If there ever was a year to get your flu shot, this year would be it!

Bronwyn Tolmie pharmacist and owner at Pharmasave Elora Apothecary says there is a little bit more availability for the different types of vaccines that can be administered at your community pharmacy this year.

“So, community pharmacies’ have the ability to provide flu shots for anyone who is 5-years of age and older, and this year pharmacies’ also have the ability to provide the high dose flu shot to anyone who is 65-years of age and older,” Tolmie said.

Tolmie says the high dose flu shot is basically a really concentrated version of the regular flu shot.

“So, you’re getting a bit more of those vaccine partials in each does that you get, and the reason for that is as we get older our immune system tends to slow down a little bit, and so by providing a higher dose of the flu shot, it can help stimulate the immune system better,” she said.

Tolmie says everyone under the age of 65 would get the regular flu shot.

Those aged 6 months to 5-years-old would have to get their flu shot through their family doctor, primary care provider, or Public Health.

She also says that many pharmacies’ this year are moving towards appointment-based flu shots.

Tolmie says one of the big reasons for doing the appointment-based way this year, is so that they can ensure the pharmacy doesn’t get too crowded with individuals.

“[To] [also] maintain proper physical distancing, and have time to clean the room before and after individuals come in for their flu shots, so we can really do our part to keep our community safe from possible COVID-19 transmission, and get as many people their flu shots as safely as possible,” she said.

She adds, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health will be running some flu shot clinics starting October 26, which will also be appointment based.