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Get the flu shot, not the flu

Influenza is a serious respiratory illness caused by a virus. It can cause mild to severe symptoms, and for some can result in hospitalization or death, especially in people at higher risk. The influenza vaccine helps to protect you and those around you by preventing and reducing severe disease. Don't take any unnecessary risks with your health. Get the flu shot and get it early. The vaccine is free, and it is safe.

The flu vaccine is now available to everyone 6 months of age and older.

This year, flu vaccines are available at the following locations:

  • Participating pharmacies for adults and children aged 2 years and over
  • Family doctors’ offices and some walk-in clinics for adults and children over 6 months of age.

Due to continuing demands of the COVID-19 response, the health unit will not be hosting flu clinics during the 2022-2023 season.

If you do not have a family doctor and have a child between the ages of six months and five years, please call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 to book an appointment at one of the paediatric flu shot clinics taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 29, Tuesday, Dec. 6 and Thursday, Dec. 8 between 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 15 Sperling Dr. in Barrie. Health Connection staff can also assist in finding another location for your child’s immunization.

While it is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older get the flu shot, some individuals are more vulnerable to complications and hospitalization from the flu and are encouraged to get the flu shot as soon as possible.

Those considered high-risk include: 

• Individuals who are pregnant
• People who are residents of nursing homes or other chronic care facilities 
• People 65 years of age and older
• All children 6 months to 4 years of age 
• Indigenous peoples 
• Adults or children 6 months of age and over with chronic health conditions
• Healthcare providers 

Respiratory illnesses like the flu spread easily between people and animals. Swine, poultry, and animal shelter workers are encouraged to get the flu shot as early as possible to prevent the spread of flu viruses between human and animal populations.

This year’s flu season is taking place at the same time as COVID-19. Although seasonal influenza and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, they are caused by different viruses. The flu shot will not protect against COVID-19, but it will help reduce the risk of getting influenza and COVID-19 at the same time, which can cause severe complications in some. It is recommended that all those who are eligible get both their influenza vaccine and are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations. Those aged 5 years and above who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines are able to receive both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time.

Getting the flu shot and staying up to date with the COVID-19 vaccines can help to ease the burden on the healthcare system while the influenza virus and COVID-19 co-circulate in the community.

For more information

 

Page last updated: November 1, 2022

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