Ontario Rolls Out New COVID-19 Vaccine and Flu Shot Program for Residents Six Months and Older

Ontario Rolls Out New COVID-19 Vaccine and Flu Shot Program for Residents Six Months and Older
Starting Monday anyone six months and older will be able to receive both a flu shot and the new COVID-19 vaccine. Public Health Ontario's latest COVID-19 wastewater data shows an uptick of the virus in most parts of the province. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Ontarians who are six months of age and older are now eligible to receive their free flu shot and the newly approved COVID-19 vaccines, according to an announcement made by Health Minister Sylvia Jones on Sunday.

The Ontario government is making it easier for residents to stay up to date on their vaccinations during the season when respiratory illnesses typically surge. In a statement, Jones emphasized the importance of receiving both the COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot.

“Getting your COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot is the best way to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your community healthy,” she said.

Residents can access the vaccines at convenient locations across the province, including local pharmacies, public health units, and primary healthcare providers, at no cost.

The government has confirmed that it is safe and convenient to receive both a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot at the same time. This approach helps reduce the need for multiple visits to healthcare providers.

Dr. Kieran Moore, the province’s chief medical officer of health, also encouraged Ontarians to ensure they are up-to-date with their vaccinations.

“With the expected co-circulation of influenza, COVID-19, and RSV over the fall and winter, I encourage Ontarians to get their COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot as soon as they can,” Moore said. “Especially those who are elderly, immunocompromised, or have medical conditions that make you particularly susceptible to harm from respiratory illnesses.”

The new COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, designed to target the XBB COVID-19 variant, were approved by Health Canada earlier this fall. The province has stated that those who are six months and older can receive a new protective shot against COVID-19, provided that six months have passed since their last vaccine dose or confirmed infection.