The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) sent a press release on October 25, urging residents to get their flu shot. The annual flu season will begin in earnest as the cold weather sets in, and weathering the perennial illness is more important than ever with COVID-19 still around. The flu shot has been pre-emptively vetted and approved for use alongside the COVID-19 vaccine, so there is no excuse not to get both.
“It’s especially important that people get their flu shot this year,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, EOHU chief medical officer. “Both COVID and the flu share symptoms, and despite their similarities, being fully vaccinated for COVID won’t protect you from the flu. Getting the flu shot can help you stay healthy and reduce the pressure on health care centres.”
The flu shot is important for vulnerable sectors of the population. Children less than 5 years of age, people 65 and older, and those with chronic medical conditions are encouraged to get their flu shots as soon as possible. Caregivers should also make sure to get their flu vaccinations.
Flu symptoms are similar to some COVID symptoms, so anyone who comes down with the flu will also need to get a COVID test after they recover. Getting the flu shot and avoiding contracting the flu will reduce any extra strain on COVID test centres.
The flu shot will be available through healthcare providers, community health centres, and some pharmacies. Residents should call to make sure the shot is available before walking in. For children 5 years or younger and their families, the shot will be available through EOHU hospitals by appointment starting November 1. Be sure to bring ID.
For more information about the flu shot, visit EOHU.ca or call 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120.