The following is a message from Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health regarding annual influenza vaccinations:
KFL&A Public Health is reminding residents that it is important to get your flu shot to protect yourself and vulnerable people such as the elderly and those who are too young to be immunized. We recommend that all KFL&A area residents, not just the young and the elderly, get immunized early.
The vaccine will maximize protection against the influenza virus, which is known to cause severe illness and result in hospitalization or even death among previously healthy children, older adults, or pregnant individuals.
“This fall and winter season both flu and COVID-19 are expected to circulate, and vaccination is proven to be the best protection against these viruses,” said Brian Larkin, Manager of Vaccine Preventable Disease at KFL&A Public Health. “We strongly encourage all those who are eligible to ensure their vaccinations for both flu and COVID-19 are up to date, to be ready for this respiratory illness season. Vaccination against influenza and COVID-19, and staying home when symptomatic, particularly in children and those at most risk, are key protectors against respiratory illnesses.”
Yesterday, KFL&A Public Health received laboratory confirmation of the first case of Influenza A for the 2022/2023 season. Locally this detection represents only sporadic activity. As it takes about two weeks after vaccination to develop protection against influenza, it is strongly encouraged that residents get their flu shot early, before flu activity becomes widespread. Influenza vaccine is already available in our region for those at higher risk of complications. Provincial eligibility will be expanded to the general public on November 1.
Although the flu virus was not circulating in our region during 2020/2021, flu activity returned in Spring 2022. This fall, the relatively early resurgence of sporadic influenza activity indicates we might expect community transmission also to occur earlier in the season.
Simple measures that help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses include:
- Checking for symptoms and staying home when sick – until 24 hours after symptoms are resolved
- Wearing a mask for 10 days after experiencing any respiratory illness and when it’s right for you
- Staying up to date with all recommended vaccinations
- Practicing frequent hand hygiene
In the KFL&A region, the flu shot is available at the following locations:
- Your family doctor/primary care provider.
- Your local pharmacist.
- KFL&A Public Health is offering flu shot clinics for those who are between six months and two years of age, who do not have a health care provider and their household members.