Ontario urges flu shots as hospitals still treat COVID patients

260 patients were being treated for COVID-19 on Tuesday, including 159 in intensive care and 101 on ventilators

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The Ontario government is urging residents to get a flu shot this season, in part to avoid additional pressure on hospitals as they grapple with the latest wave of COVID-19 patients.

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Health Minister Christine Elliott said the government will spend more than $ 89 million on the flu vaccination program, which she described as one of the largest in the province’s history, offering more than 7.6 million Vaccine doses at no charge to Ontario residents.

The vaccines are available this month for seniors, children six months to four years, pregnant women and others at high risk for complications, Elliott said.

The flu vaccine will be offered to all Ontario residents beginning in November, depending on supply, and can be given at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine.

Elliott said Ontario is also awaiting approval to provide a COVID-19 vaccine to children ages five to 11.

“We are actively working with our public health units to determine a launch of that vaccine when it is approved by Health Canada, of course, and we will be ready as soon as it is approved so that it can be distributed and made available to children throughout the province,” he said. .

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Ontario hospitals reported 260 patients were treated for COVID-19 on Tuesday, including 159 in intensive care and 101 on ventilators. The unvaccinated continue to represent the majority of patients in hospitals.

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Four new deaths and 328 additional cases were also confirmed in the province.

There were 60 new cases in the Peel region and 52 in Toronto, and all other public health units experienced 20 or fewer new cases.

Public health data indicated that 83% of Ontario residents age 12 and older eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine have been fully inoculated, while 4% have received a single dose and 13% are not vaccinated.

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