Sonia Bélanger, head of the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, announced in a press conference on October 30 that Montreal health facilities would be increasing the number of seasonal flu vaccine appointments by 50,000.

This year, due to social distancing, the vaccine is offered by appointment only, according to the CIUSSS website.

The new appointments will become available gradually beginning on November 1, she said.

"Last week, we noted that many people wanted to get the vaccine and the slots we had open were quickly filled," Bélanger explained.

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50,000

New flu shot appointments will be available in Montreal

The seasonal flu vaccine is recommended by the Canadian government — especially amid the pandemic in order to reduce additional burdens on the health care system.

It also "reduce[s] your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time, which could lead to more serious complications," the website reads.

As a result, Montreal has reportedly been facing unprecedented demand for the vaccine, which is available at government health centres and, according to Bélanger, around 65% of community pharmacies. 

"Some [pharmacies] still have time slots available in December," she added. 

A map created by Toronto start-up Empower Health shows many of the locations across Canada where flu shots are available. 

You can find the map for Montreal here.

If you're interested in getting a flu shot from the CIUSSS, you can sign up on clicsante.ca or by telephone at 514-270-1536.

Priority is given to people at higher risk of complications who are also eligible to get the shot for free.  

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