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This year, it’s more important than ever to get the flu shot and reduce the spread of flu

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.


Media Contact:

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 You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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Province of Ontario has Declared a Second Provincial Emergency to Address COVID-19 Crisis and Save Lives.  Read more.

Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the provincial government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work.

Owner/operators of a businesses, workplaces and/or other community organizations who are unsure of how to adjust operations for COVID-19 are encouraged to visit sector specific guidance regarding provincial lockdown measures at or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. If you are unable to find an answer to your questions or need further guidance, please fill out this web form.

During the provincewide shutdown, no indoor social gatherings are permitted, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Individuals who live alone and single parents may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household. Outdoor gatherings must be limited to 5 individuals, and proper physical distancing must be maintained.

If you are concerned about potential exposure to a positive case of COVID-19, please be reassured that any contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly and monitored by public health.

Low-risk and indirect contacts should self monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the time of potential exposure and seek testing if symptoms develop. Low risk contacts do not need to isolate unless symptoms develop, and can continue to attend school/work/daycare while monitoring for symptoms.