The City of Toronto has begun to accept appointments for the dozens of flu shot clinics that it will be holding over the coming weeks and months and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa is reminding residents that being vaccinated this year may be “more important than ever” when it comes to protecting our healthcare system.

The city will host a total of 32 different flu shot clinics between now and December with all clinics operating on an appointment-only basis this year due to the need to ensure physical distancing.

As in past years, the flu shot will be free for all people six months of age and older and there is no need to show a health card to receive the vaccination.

Residents can also receive the flu shot at doctor’s offices and participating pharmacies.

“Getting a flu vaccine is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from getting sick with the flu. As we live with COVID-19, this action is more important than ever to protect our healthcare system and ensure that our health resources are available for those who need them most,” de Villa said in a press release issued on Tuesday announcing the launch of the online booking system. “In addition to getting your annual flu vaccine now, washing your hands often, covering your cough or sneeze and staying home when you are sick are important ways to reduce the spread of the flu and COVID-19. These steps, in addition to wearing a mask when physical distance cannot be maintained, will help protect you and those around you.”

The Ford government has said that this year’s flu vaccination campaign will be the biggest in Ontario’s history with 5.1 million flu vaccine doses ready for distribution. That represents a 16 per cent increase on the 4.4 million doses the government ordered last year.

The city’s online appointment booking portal for flu shot clinics can be accessed by following this link.