Press Releases

Health Minister Deb Matthews Kicks-Off Flu Vaccination Season at Shoppers Drug Mart

Oct 24, 2013


Flu is heading to Ontario and it's now easier than ever to get protected

TORONTO, Oct. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - With flu season on our doorstep and the flu vaccine now available, the Honourable Deb Matthews, Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, received her flu shot today from a local Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist to kick-off the flu immunization season and encourage others to get the flu shot.

Between 3.4 and 8.6 million Canadians get the flu each year and it can result in serious consequences for many including seniors, children, and those with chronic health conditions1. In fact, 2,000 to 8,000 people die annually as a result of complications from the flu, so it's important that everyone in Ontario take preventative measures this season2.

This is the second flu season that pharmacists in Ontario have been able to provide the flu shot.

"Getting a flu shot is the most reliable way to prevent the flu - that's why it's important for families to add the flu shot to their to-do list this flu season," says Minister Matthews. "Pharmacists are trusted health care professionals, and now that they can provide the flu shot in Ontario, it's easier than ever to protect yourself and your family from the flu."

Fall is the best time to get the vaccine as protection takes hold two weeks following immunization and will last roughly six months. It is now easier than ever for people in Ontario to get vaccinated as local Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacies offer flu vaccinations with a pharmacist on a walk-in basis or by booking an appointment online at

"We are happy to see Minister Matthews' dedication to keeping Ontarians healthy this flu season," says Domenic Pilla, CEO and President of Shoppers Drug Mart.  "With more than 600 Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacies across the province offering flu vaccinations, it's more convenient for Ontarians to follow Minister Matthews' lead and take this important step in protecting themselves and their families from the flu."

Seventy to ninety per cent of flu cases can be averted through vaccination3. In addition to getting the flu shot, there are other important preventative measures all Ontarians should follow to keep healthy this flu season, including:

  • Strengthen your immune system by maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle;
  • Practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently, and for at least 10 seconds using warm water and soap;
  • Eat healthy and stay hydrated.

"Pharmacists are among the most accessible health care professionals," says Hitesh Pandya, Associate-owner, Shoppers Drug Mart. "Having pharmacists administer flu shots provides Ontarians with more convenient options to protect themselves this flu season."

About Shoppers Drug Mart
Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The Company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec). With more than 1,244 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the Company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. The Company also licenses or owns 57 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec) and six luxury beauty destinations operating as Murale. As well, the Company owns and operates 62 Shoppers Home Health Care stores, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services. In addition to its retail store network, the Company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Technologies Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to longterm care facilities.


1 Health Canada. (Accessed September 5, 2013)

2 Public Health Agency of Canada. (Accessed September 30, 2013)

3 Alberta Health Services. Immunizations@work. August 30, 2013)

SOURCE Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation

Image with caption: "Ontario Health Minister, Deb Matthews, receives her flu shot by Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist, Hitesh Pandya, to launch the annual flu immunization campaign. (CNW Group/Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation)". Image available at:

For further information:

Shaday Livingston
Environics Communications

Samantha Grant
Office of the Honourable Deb Matthews
Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care