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Ontarians Encouraged To Get A Flu Shot

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Ontarians Encouraged To Get A Flu Shot

McGuinty Government Launches Immunization Campaign

Ministry of Health

Influenza season is upon us and David Caplan, Ontario's health minister, is rolling up his sleeve to get his annual flu shot - and is encouraging all Ontarians to do the same.

Flu shots are free to anyone aged six months or older who lives, works or attends school in Ontario.

Getting a flu shot is considered the most effective way to prevent influenza. Other ways to stay healthy are washing your hands properly, coughing and sneezing into your upper sleeve, avoiding close contact with those who are coughing and sneezing, and staying at home if you're sick.

Ontario's Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP), now entering its ninth year of availability, is preventing influenza-related deaths and reducing the number of patient visits to hospitals and doctors' offices, according to a study by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) released earlier this week.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s UIIP was the first large-scale program of its kind in the world and hailed by the World Health Organization as a model for other countries.
  • The ICES study found the UIIP annually prevents 300 deaths, 1000 hospitalizations, 30,000 visits to the emergency department and 200,000 visits to doctors’ offices.
  • Free flu shots are available across the province through doctors’ offices, employer-sponsored clinics, public health units, local pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care homes, Family Health Teams, Community Health Centres and Community Care Access Centres.

Additional Resources


““Influenza is a serious illness, so get a flu shot to stay healthy this winter – it will keep you safe and prevent you from spreading it to your loved ones. Getting the flu shot is easy and has proven to be effective in preventing serious illness.”

David Caplan

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Getting a flu shot is a proven, safe and effective way to promote good health and prevent illness. The immunity provided by the vaccine can reduce the severity of the illness and save lives.”

Dr. David Williams,

Ontario’s Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health



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