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Family Health Team Physicians Message to Patients

Flu Shots 2020

  1. 1) Flu Shots Overview
  2. 2) FAQs – Where and how can I receive a Flu Shot this year? (etc)
  3. 3) The Medical Centre Flu Shot Clinics 2020 (By Appointment Only!).
  4. 4) Influenza – General Information
  5. 5) NEW – On-line Flu Shot Information and Consent Form

2020 Flu Shots Overview

Ontarians are being strongly encouraged this year to receive their annual influenza vaccine (“Flu Shot”), given that COVID-19 is also circulating. As in past years, the flu shot is free to receive for all Ontarians aged 6 months and older with a valid OHIP card. There are several changes this year in terms of where and how you can receive your flu shot. Although we will have some supply in our offices, pharmacies will again be able to provide flu shots this year, including the high dose vaccine. Last year, high dose vaccines were only available in physician offices. Furthermore, two of the biggest changes this year is that most flu shots will be available by appointment only and patients will be required to screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to receiving their vaccine.

The first shipment of flu vaccines was scheduled to arrive mid-October. This initial shipment is primarily intended for hospitals and long-term care facilities, but we will be receiving a limited supply in our offices.

For people over age 65, there are 2 options again this year for the flu shot - the regular flu shot and the high dose flu shot. Both are effective and it is important that you at least receive one of the vaccines. Although we will have a limited supply of the high-dose vaccine, the province has redeployed about 45% of our high dose supply to pharmacies this year, so seniors over age 65 who wish to receive a high dose vaccine can also contact their pharmacy as well.

Planning larger clinics as we have done in past years is more challenging this season due to the need to maintain social distancing. Planning continues on this. Please check back here regularly for updates. If we do proceed with clinics, information will be posted here and they would likely not take place until late October/November, in order to ensure an adequate supply of vaccine is available.

Please see below for more information about the flu, the flu shot, where to receive your flu shot based on your age, and more general information and FAQs.


FAQ’s 2020 Influenza Vaccines

1. I am a Medical Centre patient. Where can I get the flu shot this year?

Age 6 months- 5 years:

Contact your family doctor’s office to book an appointment. If it is the first year that a child under 9 years of age is receiving the flu vaccine, they will need an additional booster after 30 days. If your child is over 9 years of age, or is under 9 years of age but has received the flu vaccine previously, they only require a single vaccine this year.

Recommended Flu Vaccine: Quadrivalent

Age 5-65:

Your family doctor’s office or a participating pharmacy. Contact your family doctor’s office to book an appointment or contact your pharmacy to book an appointment. If it is the first year that a child under 9 years of age is receiving the flu vaccine, they will need an additional booster after 30 days. If your child is over 9 years of age, or is under 9 years of age but has received the flu vaccine previously, they only require a single vaccine this year.

Recommended Flu Vaccine: Quadrivalent

Age > 65:

Your family doctor’s office or a participating pharmacy. This year, participating pharmacies are carrying the “High Dose” Flu Shot in Ontario, which is the recommended Flu Shot in this age group. If the “High Dose” is unavailable, we recommend the quadrivalent vaccine as it is also effective.

Recommended Flu Vaccine: “High Dose” (Trivalent). Quadrivalent is also effective.

*If you receive your flu vaccine at a pharmacy, please ask them to send a notification to us so that we can enter that information in your medical record.

2. When will the Flu Vaccine be available?

Flu vaccines will be available from the middle of October onward at both doctor’s offices and pharmacies. It is better to get the flu vaccine earlier if possible, as it takes about 14 days from the time you receive the Flu Shot to develop immunity.

3. What if I get sick on the day of my appointment for the vaccine?

If you are sick, do not attend your appointment and notify either your physician office or your pharmacy, depending on who you booked the appointment with. This year, everybody who is getting a Flu Shot must also complete COVID-19 screening beforehand. You will not be eligible to receive the vaccine if you have not been screened or if you screen positive. You should re-book an appointment after you are feeling better.

4. What are the differences between the “High Dose” Flu Shot and the “Regular” Flu Shot?

The “High Dose” Flu Shot has an increased amount of the Influenza A antigen. This promotes a higher immune response to this strain. Studies have shown that Influenza A is more common in ages >65, and that the immune system and therefore response to the vaccine is also potentially weaker in this age group as well. That is why the “High Dose” Flu Shot is currently recommended for this age group. The “High Dose” Flu shot is a trivalent vaccine, meaning it contains 3 strains of influenza (2 strains of Influenza A and one Influenza B). The “Regular” Flu Shot is a quadrivalent vaccine, meaning it contains 4 strains of influenza (2 strains of Influenza A and 2 strains of Influenza B).

The Medical Centre Flu Shot Clinics 2020 (By Appointment Only)

Last Updated: Oct 14 2020

The Medical Centre will be hosting a Medical Centre Drive-In Flu Shot Clinic on October 24 and October 31. It will be located in our main parking lot and accessed as usual through the main entrance on Clonsilla Ave.

More dates may be released later based on demand, as well as on vaccine supply. Clinics will be providing quadrivalent vaccine only. No HIGH DOSE Flu Shots will be available at these clinics.

The Drive-In Clinic is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Patients are encouraged to arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before their appointment and please do not arrive late.

Instructions (Please Read Carefully):

  1. 1) Contact your Family Physician or Nurse Practitioner’s Office to book an appointment.
  2. 2) After your appointment has been booked, complete and submit the On-Line Flu Shot Information and Consent Form. It will be automatically attached to your medical record.
  3. 3) On the day of the Clinic:
    • • Complete the On-line COVID-19 Fast Track Screening and bring either a screen shot or a printout of your result with you in your car. One must be completed for each occupant of your vehicle who is receiving a Flu Shot, so you will need multiple screenshots or printouts if you have more than one person.
      • •   If you screen positive or have any symptoms, please DO NOT come to your appointment and re-book when you are feeling better
      • •    Patients with any current COVID symptoms will not be given the Flu Shot.
    • •  Plan to arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before your appointment and please do not arrive late.
    • •  Follow the directions of the Staff when you arrive at the Medical Centre. They will advise you where to line-up in your vehicle. They will then confirm you have completed the consent form and the COVID-19 screening and help you prepare to receive your Flu Shot.
    • •  Please wear a SHORT SLEEVE shirt/top
    • •  Vaccination will take place in your vehicle
    • •  NO Smoking or bringing pets to this appointment
    • • There is a 15 minute waiting period after the injection has been given

    Families with young children (6months - 14 yrs) will be booked specifically from 1-2pm and vaccinations will happen outside of their vehicle with parent assistance as needed.

    2020 Flu Clinic

    Influenza – General Information

    What Is The Flu?

    Influenza, commonly known as "the flu", is a serious, acute respiratory illness that is caused by a virus. People who get the flu may have common symptoms that can include a fever, chills, cough, runny eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, extreme weakness and fatigue. Symptoms may vary from person to person. For example, the elderly may not have a fever. Children can also have earaches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The cough and fatigue can persist for up to several weeks, making the return to full personal and work activities difficult.

    People of any age can get the flu and illness usually lasts two to seven days; sometimes longer in the elderly and in people with chronic diseases. Most people who get the flu are ill for only a few days. However, some people can become very ill, possibly developing complications and requiring hospitalization.

    The flu spreads through coughing, sneezing or talking. It is also spread through direct contact with surfaces contaminated by the influenza virus, such as toys, eating utensils, and unwashed hands.

    What Are The Symptoms Of The Flu?

    People who get the flu may have common symptoms that can include a fever, chills, cough, runny eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, extreme weakness and fatigue. Symptoms may vary from person to person.

    What Is The Difference Between A Cold And The Flu?

    The common cold and flu symptoms are often very similar. Use the chart below to help you determine if what you have is a simple cold, or the flu.

    *Colds do not generally result in serious health problems such as pneumonia or bacterial infections.

    Symptom Cold Influenza
    Prevention Frequent hand washing Annual immunization and frequent hand washing
    Fever Rare Usual; high fever (102 ° F/39 ° C - 104 ° F, 40 ° C), sudden onset, lasts 3 to 4 days.
    Headache Rare Usual; can be severe
    Muscle aches and pains Sometimes, generally mild Usual; often severe
    Tiredness and weakness Sometimes, generally mild Usual; severe, may last up to 2 to 3 weeks
    Extreme tiredness Unusual Usual; early onset, can be severe
    Runny, stuffy nose Common Common
    Sneezing Common Sometimes
    Sore throat Common Common
    Chest discomfort, coughing Sometimes, mild to moderate Usual, can become severe.
    Complications Can lead to sinus congestion or infection, and ear aches.* Can lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure, and become life-threatening. Can worsen a chronic condition.

    NOTE: Children may also experience the croup, ear infections, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea when they have influenza - these symptoms are not common in adults.

    We have developed an on-line version of our information and consent form that you can read and complete ahead of time. Assuming this is completed well in advance of your Flu Shot appointment, this will be attached directly to your medical record in time for this appointment.

    To complete and submit the 2020 Flu Shot Information and Consent Form, please click on this link:

    2020 Flu Shot Information and Consent Form