By Karen Laing, Clinical Coordinator
Published October 2011

Every year, the Government of Ontario launches its flu vaccine campaign which entitles all residents of the province to obtain a free flu vaccine from either their family physician or the Public Health Unit.

Did You Know....?

  • You need the flu vaccine every year because the influenza (flu) virus changes often and a new vaccine is made each year.
  • 6,000-7,500 people die every year in Canada from influenza and the complications that arise such as pneumonia.
  • The cost to our Health care system on an annual basis is $500 million per year

What is Influenza?
Influenza (commonly known as “the flu”) is a serious, acute respiratory illness that is caused by a virus. People who get influenza may have a fever, chills, cough, runny eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, extreme weakness and fatigue. Note: the elderly may not have a fever. Children can also have earaches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Influenza spreads through respiratory droplets from infected persons, for example, through coughing or sneezing. It is also spread through direct contact with surfaces contaminated by the influenza virus, such as toys, eating utensils and unwashed hands.

How Can Influenza be Prevented?

  • Get the flu vaccine every year
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue ( throw away the tissue after use)
  • Stay at home when you feel sick

Can the Vaccine cause Influenza?
No, the publicly funded influenza vaccine does not contain the live virus so you cannot get influenza from the vaccine.

Who can get the Vaccine?
Anyone aged 6 months and older who lives, works or attends school in Ontario is eligible to receive the publicly funded influenza vaccine.

There are some conditions that are prohibitive to giving the vaccine. Please talk to your health care provider if you are uncertain.

Please get the flu vaccine from your family physician or check with your local public health unit for dates and times of the community flu clinics.

Registered clients of Central Community Health Centre can get their flu shot as part of a regularly scheduled clinical appointment or by calling the Health Centre and making an appointment.

Remember..... an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!