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Let's Talk Flu

Dominique Mongeon RN, BScN

If any of you are like my dad, you think, “I don’t need to get the flu shot! I’ve never had the vaccine and I never got sick.” This might be true for some individuals, but do you really want to take the chance of getting the flu if you can protect yourself with a simple injection?

Influenza is a serious respiratory infection that is highly contagious and can lead to major complications. The virus is typically transmitted by droplets spread through coughing and sneezing therefore we are all susceptible of getting it. Influenza often includes a sudden onset of high fever, general aches and pains, headache, fatigue and sore throat.

You might think that getting influenza is just like having a common cold, but it’s not. Have you ever talked to someone who actually got the flu? If they didn’t get the flu shot before, they’ll definitely recommend it now!

So maybe you’re not convinced you need to protect yourself. Think about getting the shot to protect the ones you love. Some individuals are at high risk of influenza-related complications or hospitalization, such as pregnant women, people over 65 years of age, children up to the age of 5 years and individuals with some chronic health conditions. For these individuals, contracting the flu can lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure and can worsen a current chronic condition.

The best way to prevent influenza and its complications is by getting the flu shot. It’s important to understand that you cannot get the flu from the vaccine. The vaccine however does take up to two weeks to actually start protecting you from the viruses. You may have already contracted the virus before getting the shot or contracted it within the two week waiting period.

You may have heard someone ask, “Is the vaccine a good match?” Every year, the strains of virus may change and the vaccine is updated accordingly. That’s why we encourage you to get the flu shot every year for the best protection.

So this year, book your flu shot to protect yourself by booking your flu shot online!