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Updated COVID-19 vaccine available next month, Sudbury’s health unit says

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Vulnerable populations in the area covered by Public Health Sudbury & Districts will be eligible for an updated COVID-19 vaccine in October.

Similar to the pandemic, the vaccines will be rolled out in stages, with the most vulnerable populations receiving the shot first.

“Public Health is planning to offer COVID-19 and flu shots to the general public beginning later in October,” the health unit said in a news release Thursday.

“Individuals are encouraged to book their COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot appointments as soon are they are eligible.”

Vaccinations of at-risk groups will begin the week of Oct. 2.

COVID-19 cases have been rising in recent weeks as a new variant – which makes people sicker – spreads across the globe. In Sudbury, there are about 20 people currently in hospital with the disease.

The latest vaccine provides greater protection against the Omicron XBB subvariants. The XBB.1.5-containing mRNA vaccine is Health Canada-approved for people aged six months of age and older.

For the month of October, officials will focus on vaccinating hospital staff and patients, LTC staff and residents and people at high-risk for COVID-19 complications or hospitalizations.

The flu shot will also initially be prioritized for high-risk populations. COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations will be available to those aged six months and older beginning later in October.

Participating pharmacies and primary care providers may also offer the COVID-19 vaccine. The influenza vaccine will be available at many locations such as local pharmacies and health care providers’ offices.

“Staying up to date on vaccines is especially important heading into fall and winter,” medical officer of health Dr. Penny Sutcliffe is quoted as saying in the release.

“As we gather indoors for work and school, it is important that we do as much as we can to reduce the risk of severe illness and hospitalization ... Consider wearing a mask, particularly if you are at higher risk of severe infection.”

The health unit said it “strongly” recommends eligible individuals get both flu and COVID-19 vaccines this fall.

Click here to book your COVID-19 appointment, or call 705-522-9200, toll-free 1-866-522-9200.

The call centre is open Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and is closed on statutory holidays. In recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Public Health Sudbury & District offices will be closed Sept. 29.

For those interested in booking a flu shot only, call 705-522-9200, ext. 0. Where possible, Public Health plans to offer opportunities for clients to receive both COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines at the same time. 

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