Flu vaccines underway in Windsor-Essex

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The region's flu vaccination program is well underway.

Shots are going to high risk residents right now, such as the elderly and young, while the general public will be eligible in the coming weeks.

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Director of Health Protection Kristy McBeth says, new this year, those who still need a COVID-19 vaccine can get both shots at once.

She says they're targeting specific areas before opening up the vaccine to everyone.

"All of our high risk facilities, that would include our hospitals and long term care homes, have already received all of their vaccines. We've also had all of our initial shipment of flu vaccine has gone out to all of our health care providers as well as our pharmacies. So that includes 241 health care providers and 124 pharmacies," McBeth said.

McBeth says they're expecting an increased demand for the flu shot this year.

"We are expecting to see a little bit more vaccine go out the door in this particular season," she continued. "We're looking at about 115,200 doses of flu vaccine that we hope to have administered in our community, which is great, that's up from about 97,000 from last year."

She says the National Advisory Committee on Immunization has cleared giving the COVID and flu shot at the same time.

"It is safe to have a COVID vaccine co-administered with other vaccines. So this does open up opportunities for folks that, as an example, if they were still needing their COVID vaccine and were able to attend a pharmacy they would be able to potentially receive both at the same time."

McBeth says more information on flu vaccines for the general public will likely be released in early November.