The Health Unit is encouraging the public to get vaccinated. The flu vaccine is now available to everyone six months of age or older who lives or works or attends school in Ontario.
Influenza or “the flu,” can make a healthy adult sick for weeks, but is especially serious for vulnerable populations like children and the elderly, due to their susceptibility to more grave complications. Getting a flu shot is the best defence against the flu and helps protect your loved ones.
“Many people wrongly believe that the flu shot makes you sick with the flu, and that’s not true,” says Andrea McLellan, Manager of Vaccine Preventable Disease. “What is true, is that the flu shot lessens your chances of getting the flu and related complications which in turn decreases the number of doctor visits, hospital admissions and deaths. Protect yourself and others from influenza – get the flu shot. ”
Some people are more vulnerable to complications from the flu. Infants, children under five years of age, people over 65 years of age, expectant mothers, and people with underlying health conditions. The flu is contagious, and you can catch it from someone who has not yet shown symptoms.
The vaccine is different each year because the virus changes frequently. It is recommended that members of the public get it every fall. The flu shot is free and it is available at the Health Unit, at flu shot clinics held throughout the district, from participating health care providers and pharmacies.