Local Health Unit advises residents of upcoming flu season

Photo by Hyttalo Souza.

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public is reminding residents — particularly children, seniors, and those with chronic illnesses — of publicly-funded influenza vaccinations in advance of flu season.

The Health Unit is recommending the influenza vaccination for anyone aged six months or older, but particularly for those aged 65 and older, and those at high-risk of influenza related complications or hospitalization.

“It is important that individuals 65 years and older receive influenza vaccine, as these individuals may be at higher risk of complications from influenza. For this reason, seniors age 65 years and older are advised to get a flu shot each year,” KFL&A Public Health said in a press release on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019.

There are two different vaccination options available for those aged 65 and older:

  • Fluzone® High-Dose, a publicly-funded vaccine that provides protection against three strains of influenza and contains four times the amount of antigen as a regular flu shot to help build a better immune response.
  • Fluzone® Quadrivalent, a publicly-funded vaccine that protects against four strains of influenza and is also available for this age group.

Additionally, KFL&A Public Health advises that those at higher risk for complications or hospitalization from influenza also get vaccinated. Those people include:

  • Adults and children with chronic health conditions.
  • People of any age who are residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities.
  • All children aged 6 months to 4 years of age.
  • Indigenous peoples.

“Influenza immunization is the safest, longest-lasting and best defense for keeping people healthy during the influenza season,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for KFL&A Public health.

“Everyone who is six months of age and older is eligible for annual influenza immunization, unless there is a medical reason not to do so. It is especially important that those at high risk for influenza-related complications or those who live or work with people who are at high risk for complications, hospitalizations or death, receive influenza vaccine.”

KFL&A Public Health advises that influenza vaccinations are available from:

  • Your health care provider (for individuals six month of age and older).
  • Local pharmacies (for individuals five years of age and older).
  • KFL&A Public Health clinics for individuals five years of age or younger with no family doctor, individuals 65 years of age and older with no family doctor, and individuals without OHIP.

At the same time, KFL&A Public Health is using the opportunity to also remind residents to ensure that pneumococcal vaccines are up to date for those 65 years of age or older. For more information on pneumococcal vaccines, contact your health care provider or speak with a registered nurse at KFL&A Public Health by calling 613-549-1232.

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