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TORONTO — In light of a decision by the Ontario government to expand the scope of practice for pharmacists to include administering flu shots, Shoppers Drug Mart has announced that it will offer vaccination clinics in more than 750 stores in Ontario and across Canada.
Under the new regulations, pharmacists in Ontario now can administer flu immunization by injection or inhalation to a patient who is 5 years of age and older.
In anticipation of the new legislation, more than 600 Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists across the province already have completed their flu vaccination training and flu clinics are being offered in more than 460 stores to help Ontarians prepare for cold and flu season this year, the retailer stated.
"Preparation is crucial to avoid getting the flu," Shoppers Drug Mart EVP pharmacy and health care Dorian Lo said. "The provincial government's decision to expand the scope of practice for pharmacists and include them in the flu vaccination system is an important step in helping to make flu vaccinations more accessible for Ontarians."
Starting Oct. 15, Canadians wondering where to get the flu shot can go to www.shoppersdrugmart.ca to find their local Shoppers Drug Mart offering flu vaccinations.
"Local pharmacists can play an active role in keeping Canadians healthy and are available to answer patients' questions about the flu virus, and provide personal advice on how to protect against it," added Victor Wong, Shoppers Drug Mart associate-owner and pharmacist. "Being able to administer the flu shot means that pharmacists are in a better position to provide the best care to patients."
Every year there are new strains of influenza and new flu vaccines are developed to protect against them, which is why it's important to get a flu shot every year. According to Health Canada, anywhere from 10% to 25% of Canadians come down with the seasonal flu virus each year.