Fall Preparedness Plan & Flu CampaignPublished on September 23, 2020
The government has been working through the summer to put in place a robust and comprehensive plan to tackle a potential, more challenging second wave of COVID-19.
The plan, entitled Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19, sets out a series of steps to prepare the health system for a second wave of COVID-19.
It’s important that we prepare for any scenario in order to protect all citizens, especially our seniors and most vulnerable. The annual spread of the flu presents an additional challenge to Ontario’s response to future waves of COVID-19.
The flu shot provides the best defence and has been proven to reduce emergency department visits and wait times, helping to preserve hospital capacity for any surges in COVID-19 patients.
That’s why the government is investing almost $70 million to deliver the largest flu immunization campaign in Ontario’s history as part of the government’s COVId-19 fall preparedness plan.
As part of this investment, we have implemented several measures, such as:
- Ordering 5.1 million flu vaccine doses in partnership with the federal government and other provinces and territories, 700,000 more than the approximated usage last year. This includes 1.3 million high-dose vaccine doses for Ontario seniors, especially those with pre-existing health conditions;
- Prioritizing early distribution of the flu vaccine for vulnerable populations in long-term care homes, hospitals and retirement homes;
- Investing an additional $26.5 million to purchase additional flu vaccine doses if required and made available through the national vaccine bulk procurement program;
- For the first time in Ontario’s history, improving access by allocating high-dose flu vaccines for seniors to participating pharmacies; and
- Launching a public education campaign to encourage getting the flu shot.
The flu shot will be available in the coming weeks through family doctor and nurse practitioner offices, public health units and participating pharmacies for anyone five years of age or older.
We encourage everyone to do their part, support our frontline heroes, and go get their flu shot this year.
When getting your flu shot, please continue to follow public health measures to protect yourself from the spread of COVID-19, including practising physical distancing, wearing face masks and staying home when ill.
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