A Health Services nurse administering the flu shot vaccine at Algonquin College's Health Services. Photo credit: Myriam Landreville

While the college has had to stop its annual flu shot vaccination clinic due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Algonquin College Health Services is still administering the shot by appointment only.

In previous years, the clinic was done a couple of days a week throughout November. Students could drop-in without appointments. It would operate until supply runs out.

This year, as of Nov. 1, the flu shot clinic at Algonquin College Health Services has been running by appointment only.

Some students, however, are unaware of this option.

Nicole Boeyenga, a first-year interior design student, and Olivia Mortimore, a first-year personal support worker student, have not gotten their flu shot.

“I didn’t know we had a flu shot clinic,” said Boeyenga.

“They should advertise it more,” said Mortimore. “They should email it to us instead of putting it on posters. I check my email a lot more than posters.”

Elizabeth Silk, a first-year practical nursing student did know there was a flu shot clinic at Algonquin College but instead opted get it at a pharmacy across from the school.

“I needed to get it for my program. It was just easier to get it there,” she said.

Although not many students are aware of the flu shot clinic, Algonquin College has still administered 374 shots as of Feb. 16, and is still administering flu shots daily.

Health Services expect the number of students having the flu shot to be much higher than the numbers they have. For many students, it is easier to go to pharmacies in their communities.

“This year the demand (for the flu shot) was absolutely there but we saw our greatest demand last year when the COVID-19 vaccines were not available,” said Joanne Childs-Stynes, a registered nurse at Health Services

“Most people who need to get the flu shot for their program do not hesitate at all,” said Childs-Stynes. “And we would see them the following year.”

“I get a lot of questions about the importance of the flu shot if they already got their COVID-19 shot and I say it’s best to prevent illness in any form, especially if you are someone that is at risk of developing illness, getting a shot of any kind is recommended,” said Caprise Perrineau, the health promotions and education coordinator at Health Services.

“By getting the flu shot, it helps limit the burden on our health care system in light of COVID-19,” said Childs-Stynes.

Algonquin College Health Services continues to administer flu shots. Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call health services directly to book an appointment at 613-727-4723 ext.7222.