Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/October 13, 2020 – Flu season is just around the corner, and residents are encouraged to protect themselves from the flu by getting the flu vaccine. Each year, anyone over the age of 6 months can get an influenza immunization to lower their risk of getting the influenza virus.
“This year, it is more important than ever to get the flu shot, to help protect yourself and those around you from serious illness,” says Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for HPEPH. “While the flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from serious effects of the flu, it can take up to two weeks to build immunity in your body. I encourage everyone to get the vaccine well before the virus starts to circulate in our region”.
As cases of the flu typically peak in late December or early January each year, residents are encouraged to get their influenza vaccine this fall. The vaccine is available at various locations throughout Hastings and Prince Edward Counties including your healthcare provider’s office and participating pharmacies. The flu vaccine will also be available by appointment at HPEPH for individuals under 5 years of age, and those who do not have a health care provider. Registration for appointments at HPEPH will be available in the coming weeks. Once registration is open, available dates will be posted on the HPEPH website and on social media.
It is especially important for certain groups of people to get immunized. Children between the age of 6 months and 5 years of age, people aged 65 and older, and people with chronic medical conditions are at greater risk for complications from the flu. Health care providers are also at greater risk of exposure to the flu.
There are special considerations for children receiving the flu shot for the first time, and for seniors over the age of 65. Children who are receiving the vaccine for the first time require 2 doses, if they are under 9 years of age. Since this process takes longer to provide full protection for the child, it is even more important that children get vaccinated as early as possible. Seniors over the age of 65 are eligible for a high dose vaccine, which is available through health care providers and participating pharmacies.
While the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the serious effects of the flu, other ways to stay healthy and protect yourself from illness include regular handwashing, staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, keeping active and getting plenty of rest.
Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist
About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.