Flu Shots/COVID Vaccine
Flu shots are available, by appointment only, for QFHT patients. (We cannot accommodate drop-in visits.)
Our flu shot clinics are scheduled every Friday: 9 a.m. to noon.
Call the flu line at 613-533-9303, Ext. 71947, to make your appointment. Leave a message and we will call you back.
**If you have gotten your flu shot elsewhere, please let us know by leaving a message on the flu line at 613-533-9303, Ext. 71947, or by informing your clinic nurse or receptionist so we can update your records.
*COVID vaccinations are available in limited quantities and will be offered at all our flu clinics.
Public Health Ontario: "How to Protect Yourself and Others from Respiratory Viruses"
Immunize Canada: COVID-19
Health Canada: COVID-19 Vaccines for Children
Toronto Public Health: COVID-19 Vaccines for Infants, Children and Youth
The Immunization of School Pupils Act requires that parents of children attending primary or secondary school provide their local public health unit with proof of their child’s immunization against the following diseases: tetanus (sometimes called lock jaw), diphtheria, polio and mumps, meningococcal disease, pertussis (sometimes called whooping cough), and, for children born in 2010 or later, varicella (chickenpox).
For more information on these changes, please ask your physician or nurse in clinic or contact KFL&A Public Health at (613) 549-1232.
Whooping Cough Vaccine
Whooping cough is a very serious contagious illness. In recent years, it has made a comeback. It is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, sneezing or talking. Persons infected with whooping cough can spread the germ for 21 days after they begin to feel sick. Babies and pregnant women are most at risk. All children and adults should be immunized. Pregnant women should be immunized during each pregnancy to provide additional protection to their baby.
Herpes zoster, also known as shingles, is a painful disease that results from the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Following chickenpox, the virus lies dormant for many years and, for unknown reasons, can become active again and present itself in the form of shingles, an often debilitating and blistering rash that typically affects a side of the body or face.
Some individuals may experience severe long-term pain after the shingles rash has disappeared, as well as other complications, including skin infections and scarring. Approximately 90 per cent of Canadians have had chickenpox and are at risk of developing shingles. Individuals 50 years of age and older are eligible for a vaccine against herpes zoster. (National Advisory Committee on Immunization).
There are currently two herpes zoster vaccines; Zostavax, which is provided at no charge at your doctor’s office if you are between 65 and 70 years old, and Shingrix, which can be obtained with a prescription from your pharmacy. Shingrix must be paid for by the patient.
FAQ about Vaccines
If you have questions about vaccines, you are not alone. This FAQ section is offered to help answer important vaccine questions you may have.
Do vaccines really make a difference?
Absolutely. Some diseases like polio are no longer seen in Canada because of vaccinations. The last polio outbreak happened in 1959 and, at that time, 2,000 people were infected. Before vaccine programs were in place, whooping cough infected 30,000 to 50,000 Canadians, resulting in 50 to100 deaths. Since the vaccine, we now see about 1,000 cases of whooping cough, with one to five deaths. Canada reported approximately 30,000 cases of mumps before vaccination programs. We now see 90. Many of the diseases for which we have vaccines have few effective treatments (KFL&A Public Heatlh). As the old adage says, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Now that most people are no longer affected by these diseases, why do we have to keep vaccinating people?
Vaccines protect the majority of people by preventing infection and the spread of disease. When a substantial number of people are vaccinated, effective protection is provided to the whole population. Here is an example of what we mean: In Sweden, the whooping cough vaccine was discontinued in 1979. By 1981, they had 700 cases of whooping cough, and by 1985, they had diagnosed 3,200 cases. In Italy, the vaccine for whooping cough became optional in 1992. It had been mandatory before that date. Since that time, less than 40 per cent of children under the age of five years are vaccinated. Twenty-five per cent of all Italian children under the age of five now get the disease. It is important to keep our guard up. (KFL&A Public Health)
If vaccines are so helpful, why are some people opposed to them?
There are many reasons why people may be opposed to receiving vaccines. For example:
- The high success of vaccines has almost eliminated many diseases from view. Years ago, people could understand the importance of vaccination if they saw a person suffering from polio. Now that many diseases are rarely seen, people forget about the importance of vaccination.
- Some people fear needles.
- Some mass media campaigns have used questionable facts in order to promote anti-immunization campaigns. There is a great deal of misinformation in the media, and this deception confuses many people.
- Some believe that giving their child a vaccine will make them sick or give them autism. Well-conducted medical studies have found no link between the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and autism. There has been much misinformation on the internet based on a poorly conducted study, leading people to believe there was a link. The study has been retracted due to its false information, but the concerns continue to appear on social media. Often, the onset of the symptoms of autism coincides with the age at which children are given vaccines. Your health-care provider is the best person with whom to discuss your child’s vaccination needs. (AP)
Why does my baby have to get more than one needle at a time?
The Immunization Schedule in Ontario recommends vaccinations for infants at specific times to provide early protection against many diseases. This does mean that your baby may need to receive more than one needle per visit. Getting more than one needle at a time is considered a small exposure to viruses in comparison to the germs your baby will come across on any given day. Babies are often more likely than adults to suffer severe complications from diseases. The vaccines provide a short-term discomfort in exchange for a healthier future. (AP)
Can you overwhelm the immune system of the baby if you give many injections?
Vaccines don’t hurt the immune system. Instead, they prepare it to respond when the child is exposed to the disease he/she has been vaccinated against. Even when a child receives multiple vaccines, only a small portion of the immune system is actually being used, leaving the rest of the system to do what it normally does. (AP)
Natural infection is better than a vaccine, isn’t it?
The immune response of the body to vaccines is similar to the immunity that the body gets after having the disease without facing the risks of the disease. Many vaccine-preventable diseases are serious illnesses that can cause significant symptoms, and sometimes death. (AP)
I have never had the flu. Why do I need a flu shot?
It is fortunate that you have not had the flu. Perhaps enough people around you were vaccinated so that you were not exposed to it, or you were lucky enough not to encounter it. Each year, Public Health, the Queen's Family Health Team and others (family health teams, doctors' offices, pharmacies) conduct flu clinics in an attempt to decrease the number of people who get the flu, and therefore lower the number of people who can pass it on to others. "The flu" is a virus. When someone sick with the flu sneezes or coughs, they release the virus into the air, which is then breathed in by others. The virus can also enter your body if you touch contaminated surfaces, then touch your eyes, mouth or nose. It spreads throughout the body, making you feel sick. Getting sick from the flu can be much worse than having a cold. The flu can lead to severe health complications like pneumonia. Even mild cases of the flu can make you feel sick for days. It’s always a good year to get the flu shot! (Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care)
I got the flu shot and it gave me the flu.
The flu shot does not contain any live viruses so you cannot get the flu from the vaccine. It is possible that you were already exposed to a cold or the flu and would have been sick regardless of the shot. (KFL&A Public Health)
The internet contains so much conflicting information about vaccines. I don’t know where to turn. Where can I go to get reliable information?
Your health-care provider is a valuable resource. He/she can answer your questions or point you in the right direction. Call us at (613) 533-9303 to make an appointment
KFL&A Public Health is also available to assist with school vaccines, and runs ongoing vaccination clinics. They can be reached at (613) 549-1232.