October 20, 2014 - Today, at the launch of the season’s first flu clinic, the Health Unit is reminding the public to inFLUence others to get the flu shot to protect you, your family and the ones you care for from the virus. At the high-risk clinic held at the Italian Cultural Centre, Dr. Williams, medical officer of health for the District, reminded the crowd that getting the flu shot early in the season will boost the body’s natural immunity to fight the flu and is one way to keep a step ahead of the virus that causes illness and death each year.
“The flu is a serious respiratory illness that can lead to pneumonia. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent influenza, so get the flu shot. Get it early. Encourage those around you to get it too,” says Williams. “It can take up to 2 weeks to build up immunity against the virus. The earlier a person receives their flu shot, the sooner their body can make the antibodies to fight off the flu and prevent spreading it to others.”
At today and tomorrow’s clinic, people who are at greater risk of serious illness from flu-related complications are encouraged to attend. The high-risk individuals include:
- People with weakened immune systems due to chronic illness or medical treatment
- Pregnant women
- Young children under the age of 5
- Older adults over the age of 65
Other priority groups for the flu shot are those who take care of people in these groups, including health care providers, teachers, home care workers, day care providers and family members who have an infant in the home who is under 6 months and cannot be immunized themselves.
The Health Unit will be offering 24 additional clinics over the next 5 weeks with locations in Thunder Bay, the surrounding rural communities, and in Greenstone, Nipigon, Red Rock, Terrace Bay, Schreiber, Marathon and Manitouwadge. The flu shot is also available from family doctors, health clinics, health centres, nurse practitioners, and it may be available at some neighbourhood retailers, pharmacies and workplaces.
“The flu shot is safe, effective, and now it’s more convenient than ever to get one. Make it a part of a healthy lifestyle,” Williams adds.
For more information about the flu or for a flu schedule, visit ThunderBayFlu.ca, or call the flu line at 624-9082 and toll-free at 1-866-607-3337.