Ontarians Encouraged To Get Immunized Against The Flu
Immunization Program Still Available
Ontarians are being encouraged to get immunized as flu activity continues to increase across the province.
Flu activity is currently higher than at this time in previous years and hospitals are reporting that they are treating an influx of flu patients.
The flu is a serious, acute respiratory illness that is easily transmitted person to person or even through direct contact with surfaces contaminated by the influenza virus. The good news is that it can be easily avoided with a simple vaccination. People are further encouraged to follow other infection-prevention behaviours, such as washing hands thoroughly and often, sneezing and coughing into their sleeves, and staying home when they're sick.
In particular, those at higher risk of influenza related complications are strongly encouraged to get the flu shot. These include the elderly, young children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. The flu shot is a safe and effective way of keeping you and your family healthy.
This is the eleventh year that Ontario has committed to protecting the health of everyone and their families by offering, at no charge to the public, the influenza vaccine for anyone over six months old that lives, works or attends school in Ontario.
- Some health units have re-opened flu clinics to immunize Ontarians.
- This year's flu shot includes the H3N2 strain, which is the main circulating strain in Ontario.
- In the past, seasonal flu has resulted in approximately 19,000 hospitalizations every year in Ontario, as well as 300 deaths annually.
- Studies have shown that flu shots decrease the incidence of pneumonia, hospital admission and death in the elderly. Physician visits, hospitalization and death in high-risk persons less than 65 years of age are also reduced.
“I got my shot and I encourage everyone to get their flu shot. Not only are you protecting yourself from the flu, but you are also protecting your family by preventing the illness from spreading. There are many places to get your shot, and you have a number of options in the community if it comes to being treated for the flu as well.”
“Getting a flu shot is a proven, safe and effective way to promote good health and prevent illness.”
Dr. David Williams