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Ontario pharmacies see surge in flu shots
January 10th, 2014
TORONTO – More than 650,000 Ontario residents have received a free flu shot at nearly 2,000 pharmacies this flu season under an Ontario government program that has improved access to the influenza vaccine, according to the Ontario Pharmacists Association.
The association said Thursday that the number of flu shots administered at pharmacies in 2013-14 has already far exceeded the 250,000 flu shots given in 2012-13, the first season in which Ontarians could get the vaccine at an approved pharmacy.
"More Ontarians are recognizing that the most effective way to protect themselves and their families from the flu is to get the influenza vaccine every year. And increasingly, Ontarians are choosing to get the shot at their local pharmacy. It's convenient, quick, and safe," Dennis Darby, chief executive officer of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, said in a statement.
Pharmacists in Ontario began administering publicly funded flu shots in late October under province's Universal Influenza Immunization Program. Earlier that month, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care approved regulations that widened the scope of services that pharmacists could provide to consumers, including flu vaccinations.
The Ontario Pharmacists Association noted that several months remain in the current flu season — which in Canada generally runs from mid-October to April — and pharmacists are urging those who haven't already received the flu shot to get one.
"It's not too late to get the influenza vaccine. And the sooner you get it, the better," Darby added.