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Public health urges families to get flu shot

Limestone Learning Foundation
Public health urges families to get flu shot
Posted on 10/31/2019
Image of a calendar indicating a date for a flu shot

KFL&A Public Health is recommending that area residents, not just the young and the elderly, get immunized as soon as the vaccine becomes available.

The sooner that a person is immunized against influenza, the sooner they are protected from this contagious and potentially dangerous illness. It is also important to get immunized to protect vulnerable people such as the elderly and those who are too young to be immunized. 

“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”

Influenza disease usually peaks in January or February in most years.  As it takes about two weeks after vaccination to develop antibodies that protect against influenza, it is best to get vaccinated well before the virus begins circulating in the community.

“Influenza immunization is the safest, longest-lasting 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, unless there is a medical reason not to do so. It is especially important that those at high risk for influenza-related complications or those who live or work with people who are at high risk for complications, hospitalizations or death, receive influenza vaccine.”

People cannot get influenza from influenza vaccine. 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. 

“People who are immunized still should take steps to prevent the spread of all of the other germs that circulate in the winter,” said Dr. Moore. “Washing hands regularly, coughing and sneezing into the arm rather than into hands, and staying home when sick will help to protect everyone in the community.”

In the KFL&A area, there are many simple ways to get influenza immunization. Influenza immunizations are available to residents 6 months of age and older. Influenza immunizations are available from:

  • Your family doctor’s office (for patients aged 6 months and older)
  • At local pharmacies for patients aged 5 years and older

KFL&A Public Health (for residents who have a child under the age of 5 years and no family doctor and for those 65 years of age and older and no family doctor); book an appointment at one of KFL&A Public Health’s influenza immunization clinics.

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.