You can now book your flu shot appointment online at Walmart

Nov 1 2021, 2:02 pm

With flu season just around the corner, it’s time once again to roll up our sleeves for the annual flu vaccine, and Walmart is making it easy with online booking.

In most provinces across Canada, shoppers can easily book their flu shots online at Walmart. If the nearest location doesn’t have available appointments, you can sign up for notifications to get a text when appointments become available.

Canadians living in Alberta, Quebec, and Northwest Territories will not be able to use the online booking system at this time.

“We expect to see a very high demand for flu shots among both new and returning patients, especially due to COVID-19 and the fourth wave – and we’re very proud to be there to help,” Shelly Kiroff, senior vice-president of Health and Wellness at Walmart Canada, said in a press release.

In Ontario, the province has ordered 1.4 million additional flu vaccine doses after a record number of people turned out to get their annual shot. In 2020, nearly 40% of Ontarians got their flu shot, typically just 30% do.

“The annual flu shot is the best defence against the flu this season,” Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said last month. “As we head into the fall and begin gathering indoors more often with family and friends, it is even more important to get your flu shot, in addition to following public health measures, to protect yourself and those around you.”

With COVID-19-related capacity limits lifted in most settings and colder weather setting in, there is concern that this year’s flu season could put a strain on the medical system as the pandemic continues.

In 2020, a mere 25 lab-confirmed flu cases were documented in Ontario largely thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, masking, and physical distancing. In a typically flu season, the province reports more than 10,000 lab-confirmed flu cases.

Similarly, in BC, during the COVID-19 pandemic, flu season was virtually non-existent. In a typical year, the province sees a few thousand cases. The 2019/2020 flu season saw over 6,000 cases in BC. The season before that was more than 4,000.

According to Canada’s FluWatch reports, there are still very few influenza cases reported in the country as of October 23. So far, only 23 cases have been reported, almost all of which have been in BC and Ontario. The infections are considered “sporadic” by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Brooke TaylorBrooke Taylor

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