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Flu (influenza) season is upon us and, as you may be aware, the Ontario Ministry of Health is once again offering and recommending the flu shot to everyone aged 6 months or older.
Influenza is a serious illness that can lead to pneumonia. The flu shot is safe and it’s the most effective way to protect you and your family from the flu. Studies have found that the flu shot can prevent up to 80% of influenza in healthy adults and children. An Ontario study showed that every year, the flu shot eliminated the need for over 200,000 visits to doctors’ offices and 30,000 visits to hospital emergency departments. It also prevents approximately 300 deaths every year.
Getting immunized is especially important for some people because they have a greater risk of developing complications from the flu. People in close contact or those who live with people at high risk of complications should also get immunized as early as possible. Remember, you need a flu shot every year. When more people get the flu shot, less flu can be spread through the community.
The flu shot is especially important for:
- People with weakened immune systems
- Young children
- The elderly
- Pregnant women
- Family members and those who provide care to people in the groups listed above should also get the flu shot to protect themselves and those around them.
The flu shot will be available to the patients of the Kirkland District Family Health Team starting October 2014.
For more information about how to control the spread of the flu, visit our infection control page.