It’s Flu Season….
Brandon RHA Mass Flu Clinics Starting October 15th
Get the shot, not the flu and protect yourself against H1N1 at the same time.
This year the annual seasonal flu shot is available to all Manitobans at no charge. It will offer protection against H1N1 and two additional seasonal flu strains. Flu shots are the best defense against influenza infection and illness and are recommended annually.
“It contains three viruses that are selected every year by the World Health Organization based on what’s been circulating around the globe,” says Jodie Gompf, Immunization Coordinator with the Brandon Regional Health Authority (Brandon RHA). “That’s why it’s important to get it every year because it’s always changing based on what’s been circulating.”
This year the Brandon RHA will be offering mass clinics with extended hours to make it more convenient for people. (Please see box insert for dates, times and location). In addition to the seasonal flu shot Manitobans over the age of 65 or those with a chronic illness should also get a pneumococcal shot at the same time. This protects people from such illnesses as pneumonia, respiratory infections, coughs and colds.
Gompf says people often confuse the flu shot with protecting them from the stomach flu and the common cold, which is much different from influenza. Influenza is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. You may become quite ill and be “flat out on your back for one to two weeks” with fever, chills, aches and pains. That is why it’s important to protect yourself, your family and your community.
“Someone could sneeze and touch the door and you follow behind them and touch the door and then you go and shake hands with someone who takes that home to a newborn baby. It’s the roots of transmission that people don’t often think of,” says Jodie Gompf.
Often people shy away from getting the flu shot because they think they may get sick from the shot. But Gompf say that it’s not possible because the vaccine does not contain a live virus. Most common side affects that people may experience are redness, swelling and maybe a few aches and pains. If they do get sick it’s more than likely something was starting before they were vaccinated. Vaccines are known to be very safe. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get the flu.
An annual flu shot is especially important for those at increased risk of serious complications from the flu, their caregivers and close contacts.
Remember to bring your Manitoba Health Card when you come for your flu shot. You can also go online and download the consent form, complete it and bring it with you to save time. You can access the consent form by visiting this website. http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/flu/docs/flupneumo_consentform.pdf
For more information contact Public Health at 578-2522.
Flu Clinic Dates
Saturday, October 15th
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
October 18, 19, 20
9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 22
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
These flu clinics will all take place at the Nurses Residence Gym at the Brandon Regional Health Centre, at 150 McTavish Avenue East.
Free parking will be available on these dates in the front lot.
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