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After years of pandemic jabs, are people getting their COVID-19 and flu shots this winter?

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Although there is some "hesitancy" among individuals to receive a COVID-19 or flu shot this winter, the associate owner of a Shoppers Drug Location in Windsor says he is pleased with the number of people coming in to get vaccinated.

"We see people coming in for both shots at the same time," said Sebastian Di Pietro who owns the Shoppers Drug Mart location at Howard Avenue and Tecumseh Road East.

The influx of people heading to the pharmacy comes as health officials increase their call-to-action for the public to get their annual flu shot or a booster shot against the virus that causes COVID-19.

"We've been asking Canadians to come to the pharmacies or to their health care professional for vaccinations over and over, more often than usual in the last little while," Di Pietro said.

According to data from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, 85 per cent of residents in the region have completed their "primary series" of the COVID-19 vaccination — defined as two doses.

Of that group, about 40 per cent have elected not to get a third dose.

Sebastian Di Pietro owns the Shoppers Drug Mart location at Howard Avenue and Tecumseh Road East in Windsor, Ont. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023. (Sanjay Maru/CTV News Windsor)

Similarly to the flu, the virus that causes COVID-19 continues to change and we have new variants out," Di Pietro explained.

"The newest vaccine is what is going to protect us against that new variant. So I would suggest getting both your flu and your COVID shots if you haven't already,” he said.

Businesses such as Namaste Indian Supermarket have been feeling the effects of flu season.

Namaste Indian Supermarker owner Parimal Parikh said his employees have regularly been calling in sick over the past three weeks.

"Recently, I had an incident where my manager called in sick and I had to stand at the cashier counter because I didn't have a replacement," said Parikh.

Since running a grocery store requires multiple hands on deck, Parikh said he finds himself calling in other employees who are not scheduled to work.

"That's a struggle because nobody's ready to come right away because they have their own plans so, sometimes, I have to fill up their space in order to make sure that my business doesn't stop," he added 

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