With the COVID-19 pandemic colliding with flu season, demand for the flu shot is higher than usual.

“The demand is there, we’ve had a lineup for most of the day for people with walk-in appointments,” said Jordan Clark, a Carling Avenue Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist and pharmacy owner. “We are accepting appointments now for next day and the day after as well which has kept our phone lines busy.”

Annie Casagrande gets her flu shot every fall and this year is no exception. 

“With all that’s going around with COVID-19 I think it’s a very wise thing to do,” Casagrande said.

“We planned to come to the store and we saw the line up and thought ‘hey, we may as well just wait our turn and do it right now,’” said Robin Etherington who also got her flu shot. 

Many pharmacies in Ottawa are still waiting for their vaccine shipments to arrive, including Orleans Integrated Pharmacy. 

“There’s a higher demand than normal,” said pharmacist and owner Anas Aljamal. “I have many patients who usually in the last couple years they refuse to take their flu shot but this year they have been asking for it.”

Ottawa’s medical officer of health says she hopes measures already in place, like physical distancing, mask use and enhanced hand washing, will help limit the spread of the flu this season.

Kids between six months and four years old can get the flu shot at a doctor’s office or one of Ottawa Public Health’s community clinics. The dates and locations have not been announced. 

For those between five and 65+, they can also go to a doctor’s office or one of the clinics, in addition to participating pharmacies.