People will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot at same time

Porcupine Health Unit officials are pleased with the COVID-19 vaccination rates in the Cochrane District. In a call with news media on Monday, Dr. Lianne Catton said the first dose rate is a percentage higher than the provincial average and a percentage lower for second doses.

With news from the province announcing a million more influenza vaccines this fall than last year, they are encouraging people to get both a flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine -- if they haven't already gotten one -- and said they can get them both at the same time.

"We’ll be rolling out that program with primary care pharmacy and our own vaccine clinics with the Porcupine Health Unit team and others across the region over the next few weeks and into November," said Dr. Lianne Catton, medical officer of health for the Porcupine Health Unit.

Catton also said families with children aged five to 11 years old can prepare to have them receive their COVID-19 vaccines once Health Canada approves it. She is expecting those clinics to begin in November.

And, when it comes to the abusive behaviour of some people lately at clinics, Catton said it won't be tolerated.

"Please put kindness first; put respect first; put the wellness of all our community members first. We need to come out of this stronger, not come out of it more divided," she said.

Timmins police officials said no charges have been laid yet against people for being uncivil at vaccine clinics, but a couple of weeks ago, they charged a man with trespassing for refusing to leave a local gym when he wouldn't show proof of vaccination.

"He was asked to leave; he refused, the police attended and he was escorted from the property," said Marc Depatie, communications coordinator for the Timmins Police Service.

Catton added, for the time being, the health unit has turned off the comment option on some of its social media posts as a result of what some people are saying. She said people can contact the health unit via email or telephone with their questions or concerns.