The holiday season is in full swing, and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) is reminding the community that the best protection from a serious illness related to COVID-19 and influenza is to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
About 1.8 million Ontarians have already received the updated COVID-19 vaccine this fall. This week and next are important for vaccinations against both viruses, as it takes 10 to 14 days to provide protection.
In the fall of 2023, the Ministry of Health provided guidance for all Ontarians six months of age and older to receive an updated COVID-19 vaccine that better protects against the Omicron XBB 1.5 variant. The updated vaccine can be received by those who have either never received a COVID-19 vaccine, or those who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine within the last six months. Individuals who have had a confirmed COVID-19 infection recently are asked to wait six months after the infection before receiving their updated dose.
Both the COVID-19 vaccine and influenza vaccines are currently available to the public, and safe to receive during the same visit.
Appointment bookings at the HNHU clinics can be made online at hnhu.org/popup . Residents may also book their COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations through local pharmacies or physicians’ offices.
To learn more about how to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses this fall, visit hnhu.org or speak with your health care provider.