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Get Your Flu Shot Early and Stay Healthy

Archived News Release

Get Your Flu Shot Early and Stay Healthy

Vaccination Is the Best Line of Defence Against the Flu

Ministry of Health

Ontario is offering the flu shot at more locations than ever this year to help protect more people against the flu.

Starting this week, the free flu vaccine is available at doctors' offices and at community and workplace flu immunization clinics. It is also available for those five and older through specially trained pharmacists at close to 2,000 pharmacies across Ontario - three times as many pharmacies as last year. 

The flu vaccine is safe and the best defense for keeping you and the people around you healthy during the flu season. Influenza can cause serious health complications and even death, particularly for children under five, pregnant women, seniors and people with underlying health conditions. 

Preventing the flu through immunization helps keep Ontarians healthy and supports Ontario's Action Plan for Health Care by providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place. This is part of the Ontario government's economic plan to invest in people, invest in infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate. 

Quick Facts

  • The highest number of flu infections happens in children, ages five to nine years old.
  • The free flu vaccine is available to everyone, six months of age and older, who lives, works or attends school in Ontario.
  • Good hygiene can also prevent infection, including frequent hand washing, covering all coughs and sneezes, and staying home when you are sick.

Additional Resources


“I’m getting my flu shot from a pharmacist today because it’s the most important way to keep yourself and your friends, family and colleagues healthy this flu season. That’s why our government has made it easier than ever to get the flu shot from trained pharmacists across Ontario.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“More than 600 Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacies across the Ontario now offer the flu shot. I encourage all Ontarians to follow Minister Matthews’ lead and take this important step to protect themselves and their families from the flu.”

Domenic Pilla

CEO and President, Shoppers Drug Mart

“For some people who are vulnerable, the flu can mean serious illness and even death. I urge all Ontarians to get their flu shot – particularly children and seniors. The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to fully protect, so it’s best to get the shot as soon as possible.”

Dr. Robin Williams

Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health

Media Contacts



Government Health and Wellness