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Here's where you can get a COVID-19 or flu shot in Ottawa starting today


Starting today, anyone in Ottawa six months of age or older is eligible for an updated COVID-19 vaccine and annual flu shot.

Ottawa Public Health offers COVID-19 vaccination through local community clinics, neighbourhood health and wellness hubs and pop-up clinics. Vaccines are also available at select pharmacies.

Residents looking for a COVID-19 vaccine this fall are encouraged to book an appointment through the online provincial booking system or call the Provincial booking system at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007).

Ottawa Public Health is also offering COVID-19 and flu vaccines at pop-up clinics in some rural areas and at select after school clinics across Ottawa. Vaccines will be offered on a walk-in basis only; no appointments needed.

The flu vaccine will be available to the general population through local pharmacies, and your regular health care provider. Ottawa Public Health Community Clinics and Neighbourhood Hubs offer influenza vaccines for high-risk individuals without OHIP and children under five years old and their families.

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, is also encouraging residents to be vaccinated this fall and winter.

"We want all Ontarians to have a safe holiday season, a safe winter, and the best means of staying protected is through immunization," he told CTV News Channel on Sunday. "Both are updated vaccines to best protect against the circulating virus so we are confident that it will continue to protect us throughout the winter months."

OPH says this year's respiratory virus season is expected to be "atypical" when compared to pre-pandemic years.

OPH data show that before the pandemic, rates of influenza generally start to increase in December and January, but in the last three years, cases have begun to climb in November, on average. COVID-19 case counts are below where they were at this time last year, but the testing positivity rate is above the three-year average. The testing positivity rate for RSV exceeded the three-year average last week. Like the flu, RSV used to spike in December and January, but is apparently arriving earlier.

Parents in Ottawa say they're already dealing with it.

"Definitely got hit the past few weeks so both of the kids were sick," said Ottawa resident Alex Cairns. "Parents are sick, trying to take care of the sick kids, and trying to stay on top of work and the household is really challenging."

According to the latest data from OPH, wastewater surveillance indicates that COVID-19 levels are very high and increasing since last week. The level of influenza is low and similar to last week. There are moderate levels of RSV. The testing positivity rate for COVID-19 was 12 per cent. It was less than 2 per cent for influenza and 9 per cent for RSV.

--With files from CTV News Ottawa's Katelyn Wilson Top Stories

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