Flu clinics began in Toronto today for health-care workers, but there remains much confusion over who is to be getting the shot.

Catherine Datta, a Toronto health worker, was first in line at the North York Civic Centre on Monday.

"It's really important for me to get the flu shot. I get it every year," she told CTV Toronto, adding she's an asthmatic, which complicates things.

However, there were some people at the clinic who weren't health workers.

"We're not going to turn people away, but we are very much hoping that today, this week, is for people working in the health-care or providing services to ill people ... those are the groups we've targeted this week," Dr. Barbara Yaffe, the city's associate medical officer of health, told CTV Toronto on Monday.

Charlie Coffey was one of those people who jumped the gun.

"I'm worried about catching the H1N1 virus," the 65-year-old retiree said.

When told this week is supposed to be for health care workers, he said, "Oh, I thought was for at-risk people -- guys like me 65 and older.'

To add to the confusion, people born before 1957 are thought to have some immunity to the swine flu virus, which is also known as H1N1.

The city and province are running clinics to inoculate seniors against the seasonal flu virus. Those started last Thursday and run through to Sunday.

People under age 65 will only get immunized against swine flu this year. Public immunization will begin on Nov. 2, with several groups identified as priorities:

  • people with chronic medical conditions under the age of 65
  • people in remote, isolated communities
  • healthy children from six months to five years old
  • care providers and household contacts of persons at high risk who cannot be immunized or may not respond to vaccines
  • health care workers
  • pregnant women

Women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant can use the adjuvanted vaccine, but should speak to their health-care provider first, King said.

An adjuvant is a product that allows the person being vaccinated to receive the full immune-boosting response while using less of the active ingredient, known as the antigen. It can provide better results.

Officials have said women who are less than 20 weeks pregnant may wish to wait for the unadjuvanted vaccine.

People outside the priority groups are asked to wait until December to get vaccinated.

Health Minister Deb Matthews asked people to please let the priority groups get inoculated first, she added it was important for as many Ontarians as possible to get the vaccine to stop the swine flu pandemic from taking hold.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney and files from The Canadian Press