No flu shot appointments available at Ottawa Public Health clinics until Nov. 12
The Ottawa Public Health flu shot clinic at Lansdowne on Thursday, Oct. 29. (Leah Larocque/CTV News Ottawa)
OTTAWA -- There are no appointments available for the flu shot at Ottawa Public Health clinics until Nov 12.
Just over 24 hours after appointments were released for the flu shot at the six flu shot clinics between Nov. 5 and Nov. 11, all appointments were booked by Friday afternoon.
Ottawa Public Health opened the six-community flu shot clinics on Thursday, with approximately 10,000 online appointments booked for the first week between Oct. 29 and Nov. 4.
A new block of appointments will be available every Thursday for the following week. Appointments will be released on Thursday, Nov. 5 for appointments between Nov. 12 and 18.
In a statement, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches said the clinics will be open seven days a week for the upcoming weeks to provide Ottawa residents with the "best protection" against the flu virus.
Flu shot clinics will operate by appointment-only at six locations across the city seven-days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The flu shot clinic locations are:
- Notre-Dame-Des-Champs Community Hall, 3659 Navan Road, Orléans
- Ottawa Public Library-Orleans Branch, 1705 Orléans Blvd., Orléans
- Lansdowne - Horticulture Building, 1525 Princess Patricia, Glebe
- Mary Pitt Centre, 100 Constellation Dr., Nepean
- Chapman Mills Community Building, 424 Chapman Mills Drive, Barrhaven
- Eva James Memorial Centre, 65 Stonehaven Drive, Kanata
Dr. Etches says the flu vaccine is also available throughout the community at doctor's offices and at participating pharmacies.
However, the Ontario Pharmacists Association says the flu vaccine is in short supply at many pharmacies in Ottawa and across Ontario.
"The demand has spiked upwards of 500 per cent more at this time this year, than it was last year. So that is putting a lot of strain on pharmacists," said Justin Bates, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, during an interview with CTV Morning Live.
"They have to cancel appointments that have been booked and they also have to explain to patients to be certainly calm to comeback and hopefully there will be more supply coming."
Bates said there is a number of reasons for the flu vaccine shortages, including the increased demand for the flu shot at pharmacies this year. Pharmacies receive the flu shot vaccine from a different supplier than Ottawa Public Health.