With flu season not quite here, the first shipment of seasonal flu vaccine has arrived in Ottawa.
At the same time, Ottawa Public Health officials released the schedule for seasonal flu clinics Thursday afternoon.
In accordance with Ontario’s approach to flu shots this year, public health is recommending people 65 years and older and residents of long-term care facilities get the vaccine first.
Next is the rollout of the H1N1 vaccine, followed by seasonal flu vaccines, to the general population. The province has produced enough H1N1 vaccine for 75 per cent of the population, said Sherry?Nigro, manager of integration quality and standards with Ottawa Public Health.
In the past week, one resident tested positive for H1N1, and there have not been reports of absenteeism above 10 per cent in schools. This does not indicate that the second wave of the flu is in Ottawa, she said. “It’s here in the community, but we’re not seeing the volume that will tell us we’re in the middle of it.”
Starting Oct. 10, there will be seasonal flu clinics for seniors across the city. The rest of the population gets the seasonal flu vaccine after the H1N1 vaccine.
That’s not too late to get the vaccine, said Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nadine Sicard. “The peak of the flu season is February, March and even April,” she said, “but we’re going to experience H1N1 before that.”