Who Should Get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Vaccinations for influenza and COVID-19 are recommended for all individuals six months of age and older, if it has been six months since their last COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 infection.
COVID-19 vaccination is strongly recommended for individuals at high risk for severe disease, including:
Adults 65 years of age and older;
Residents of long-term care and other senior congregate living facilities;
Individuals with underlying medical conditions that place them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection;
Individuals who are pregnant; and
Individuals who identify as First Nation, Inuit or Métis.
Vaccines for influenza and COVID-19 are available by appointment only. Both vaccines are proven safe and effective in reducing the spread of influenza and COVID-19 and the incidence of severe disease from these viruses. It is safe for individuals to receive both the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time.
Vaccine appointments can be booked online on the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s website at TimefortheShot.ca. Individuals who wish to receive both flu and COVID-19 vaccines should choose a flu vaccine appointment and let the staff know they would also like to receive a COVID-19 vaccine upon arrival at the vaccine clinic. They are not required to book separate appointments for both vaccines. Individuals are encouraged to check the website periodically for appointment times as appointments will be added on an ongoing basis.
Individuals who are unable to book their appointments online also have the option of booking an appointment by telephone at the telephone numbers listed below. Homebound or frail individuals who cannot travel to a public flu clinic or visit a pharmacist or doctor can arrange a home visit by calling toll-free: 1-833-961-3749.
Residents are reminded to bring their MCP card and to wear a short-sleeved shirt when receiving their vaccine.
Flu and COVID-19 vaccines are also available at no cost through participating local pharmacies and family physicians.
Getting the flu shot, as well as ensuring your COVID-19 booster is up to date, are the most effective ways to reduce illness and complications from these diseases and can significantly lower the risk of potentially contracting influenza and COVID-19 at the same time, which could cause severe illness, especially for at-risk individuals.
Getting the flu shot is also an important way to help protect yourself, your family and vulnerable people in your community against seasonal influenza. It will also help to reduce the impact on the health-care system in the event of a potential surge of influenza or COVID-19 cases.
Getting a flu shot is important every year, and particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the flu shot will not protect against COVID-19, it will help reduce the risk of getting the flu which, if combined with COVID-19, could result in a higher risk for severe illness.
Getting vaccinated will also help reduce the spread of influenza in our communities and help reduce the impact on the health-care system.
Those booking for a group of people, i.e., family members, must book a separate appointment for everyone, regardless of whether the booking is made online or via the toll-free number.
If back-to-back appointments are preferred but not available at time of booking, those with confirmed separate appointments can arrive at the clinic together and will be accommodated wherever possible.
How Can I Protect Myself from Infection?
Individuals are reminded to practice prevention and control measures such as:
Washing your hands often;
Practicing proper cough and sneeze etiquette;
Covering your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing and sneezing and immediately dispose of used tissues in the trash; and
Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Masking recommendations for health-care facilities for the 2023-24 fall/winter respiratory season are as follows:
Masking is currently encouraged for visitors and support persons in all clinical settings, including while visiting patients and residents and in waiting areas for health-care services/appointments.
Additional masking protocols may be implemented if there is an outbreak at a facility; visitors/support persons should check with the care team in these situations for the required personal protective equipment.
NL Health Services will continue to monitor epidemiology, hospitalizations and outbreaks and masking guidelines will be re-evaluated March 31, 2024.
Individuals who are seeking or receiving health-care services who are symptomatic (i.e. experiencing any one or more symptoms of COVID-19 or respiratory symptoms) are required to wear a mask upon entry and while inside the health-care facility. Visitors/support persons who are feeling unwell or sick should not visit patients/residents or accompany others to appointments.
Visitors/support persons are also asked to consider the safety of those you are visiting. It can be especially important to wear a mask if you are around others who are at risk of more severe disease and outcomes, including those with chronic conditions, compromised immune systems and older adults or young children.
Masks continue to be available at health-care facilities across the province. Individuals can wear their own medical mask or a mask provided at the health-care facility.