KFL&A Public Health urges residents to get their influenza immunization

The time to get influenza vaccines is now, before the influenza season starts, according to KFL&A Public Health.

The sooner that a person is immunized against influenza, the sooner they are protected from this contagious and potentially dangerous illness, according to a release dated Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020.  It is also important to get immunized in order to protect vulnerable people such as the elderly and those who are too young to be immunized. KFL&A Public Health recommends that all KFL&A area residents, not just the young and the elderly, get immunized as soon as the vaccine becomes available. 

“You get the greatest protection by being immunized before the influenza season starts. Waiting to be immunized until influenza is in our community is too late,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for KFL&A Public Health.  “The only way to ensure that a person is protected is to get the vaccine and to get immunized as soon as the vaccine is available.”

The influenza season usually begins in December and peaks during January or February, according to KFL&A Public Health. As it takes about two weeks after vaccination to develop antibodies that protect against influenza, Public Health advises it is best to get vaccinated well before the virus begins circulating in the community.

“Influenza immunization is the safest, most effective and best defense for keeping people healthy during the influenza season,” said Dr. Moore.  “Everyone who is six months of age and older is eligible for annual influenza immunization. It is especially important that those at high risk for influenza-related complications such as those with chronic diseases or those who live or work with people who are at high risk for complications, hospitalizations or death, receive influenza vaccine.”

The influenza vaccine does not cause influenza, says KFL&A Public Health. Most people have no reaction at all to influenza vaccine, and almost all of those who do have only minor side effects, such as a sore arm or mild fever. 

“Getting your flu shot helps to prevent hospitalizations and a large impact on the local health care system.” said Dr. Moore. “Now more than ever we need every spare bed to protect any individuals that may need hospitalization due to COVID-19.” 

KFL&A shared where residents can get an influenza immunization. Influenza immunizations are available to residents 6 months of age and older, and are available from:

  • Your primary care provider or family doctor
  • Your local pharmacist
  • KFL&A Public Health has flu clinics, beginning in October. Clinics are for children 5 years old without a family doctor, individuals at high-risk for influenza complications without a family doctor, and individuals without Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Clinics are by appointment only. 

One thought on “KFL&A Public Health urges residents to get their influenza immunization

  • And it would be really nice if enough doses for seniors arrived in a timely way, and if we could register ahead of time.
    As it stands now, no pharmacist I contacted knew when the next batch of doses would arrive, just said call back next week, and keep trying, to register, and in fact, the first batch of doses were all gone in the first two hours.
    This is quite frustrating and very inefficient.

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