Northwestern Health Unit encourages getting your flu shot this fall
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) is expecting to see a large number of people getting their flu shot this fall, available after Thanksgiving. Shannon Brown R.N., Program Specialist Infectious Disease for the NWHU said, “The NWHU encourages everyone six months of age and older to get your flu shot this fall and try to get it early. Flu clinics will look a little different this year. All Health Unit flu shots will be by appointment only. Flu shots are available at local pharmacies, health care providers, clinics and Northwestern Health Unit offices. Protect yourselves and others.”
A media release issued by the health unit mentions that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NWHU clinics will function differently to ensure public safety. All clinics will only be working on appointments and the clinic locations will be chosen in a way so that physical distancing and other public health measures can be followed. Flu shots can be booked by visiting the health unit’s website at https://www.nwhu.on.ca/ourservices/Flu/Pages/Flu.aspx or by calling 1-866-468-2240.
Pharmacies cannot give the flu shot to children under the age of six. Families with younger children may book an appointment with the health unit or their health care provider.
“All of the pharmacies in Sioux Lookout have signed up to administer flu shots this year. People will have to check with them in regards to their set up and clinic times,” said Brown. Both Rx Drug Mart and Sioux Lookout Remedy’s Rx confirmed that they would be providing the flu shot this season, starting around October 16. The Rexall Pharmacy said that they should also have the shots available by the end of October.
According to the Ontario Ministry of Health’s website, the flu (influenza) is a contagious virus that anyone can get. But there are several things you can do to avoid catching it, or spreading it to others, with the flu shot being your best defense. It is recommended to get your shot as soon as possible as it takes two weeks to take effect.
The Government of Ontario is implementing the largest flu immunization campaign in Ontario's history, investing almost $70 million to purchase flu vaccines to deliver a robust and expanded campaign this year. The province has implemented several measures, such as ordering 5.1 million flu vaccine doses, prioritizing early distribution of the flu vaccine for vulnerable populations in long-term care homes, hospitals and retirement homes, and improving access by allocating high-dose flu vaccines for seniors to participating pharmacies and others.