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Area residents encouraged to get their annual flu shot

DURHAM: Respiratory viral illness season is here, and Durham Region Health Department is reminding area residents to protect themselves and others by getting their annual influenza (flu) vaccine and a dose of the new COVID-19 XBB vaccine.

The flu vaccine protects you from the influenza virus, which causes a contagious respiratory viral illness, and the new XBB COVID-19 vaccine helps to protect against the new Omicron XBB variant. It is safe to receive the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time. Both vaccines are free and recommended for everyone six months and older.

Receiving the flu and COVID-19 vaccines helps to reduce your chances of being infected with respiratory viral illnesses and prevents severe illness and more serious complications, including hospitalization and death. Individuals six months and older who have been previously vaccinated against COVID-19 are encouraged to receive a COVID-19 XBB vaccine if it has been at least six months, or 168 days, since their last COVID-19 vaccination or known COVID-19 infection.

Residents can receive the flu and COVID-19 XBB vaccines simultaneously at select healthcare providers and participating pharmacies. For a list of pharmacies offering these vaccines, visit

Parents of children six months to two years old who do not have access to a health care provider but would like their children to receive flu vaccine are encouraged to call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-668-2020 or 1-800-841-2729.

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