Health Unit Encourages Local Residents to Fight Flu by Getting Their Free Annual Flu Shots
Don’t let the flu get to you. With colder weather on the way, get a dose of protection instead in the form of a free flu shot.
Annual flu shots are now available free-of-charge in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit encourages anyone six months of age and older to get the flu vaccine this fall, either through their health care provider, local pharmacies or at special Health Unit clinics for children under age five.
“The flu shot is safe and effective, and reduces your risk of getting sick from influenza. Even if you get the flu after receiving the flu shot, your illness is usually milder than if you had not been vaccinated,” says Marianne Rock, Manager of Communicable Disease Control, Epidemiology and Evaluation with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Getting the flu shot is especially important for high-risk individuals who can suffer more severe health complications from the flu.”
High-risk groups include: pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions, adults 65 years of age and older, children under five, and health care providers/support staff who can transmit flu to vulnerable patients and individuals.
In Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes, there are many ways to get a flu shot:
- Speak to your doctor or health care provider to get flu vaccine.
- Visit your local pharmacy to get a flu shot. Pharmacists can provide flu vaccine to anyone five years of age and older. This fall, nearly 50 pharmacies are providing flu vaccine in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. A complete list of approved pharmacies offering the flu shot is available on the Health Unit website (www.hkpr.on.ca). You can also check directly with the pharmacy in your community.
- Book an appointment at special ‘family-friendly’ flu vaccine clinics being offered by the Health Unit for families with children under the age of five years. Both children and their parents/caregivers can receive their flu shots at these clinics. To make an appointment, call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507. The following clinic dates are available:
- In Haliburton on Wednesday, November 8, at the Health Unit office (191 Highland St.)
- In Lindsay on Wednesday, November 22, at the Health Unit office (108 Angeline St. S.)
- In Port Hope on Thursday, November 23, at the Health Unit office (200 Rose Glen Rd.)
- In Brighton on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at the Brighton Community Resource Centre (1 Young St.)
While it is difficult to predict how bad the 2017/18 flu season will be in Ontario, the experience of countries in the Southern Hemisphere can often provide a hint. For example, a very severe flu season this past winter in Australia saw many more influenza cases than normal. “Whether or not this points to us having a bad flu season remains to be seen,” Rock notes. “What we do know is that influenza is on the way, so it’s best to protect yourself by getting the flu shot.”