Flu Season is Just Around the Corner
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Flu season is just around the corner and we know that the last thing you want to get is the flu. You can protect yourself and your loved ones by getting a quick, easy and convenient flu shot at any Rexall Pharmacy location. Sign up for Rexall’s Flu Shot Alert email to be the first to know when the flu shot is available in your area.
What is the flu?
Commonly known as “the flu”, influenza is an infection in the airways caused by the influenza virus. The flu is easily caught and easily spread. Although some symptoms may be cold-like, they are far more serious and full recovery may take up to 6 weeks. Immunization is the best prevention against the flu and the illness it can cause.
Some people are at greater risk of flu complications.
While a balanced diet, good hygiene and exercise all contribute positively to your general health, they may not be enough to protect you from the influenza virus, especially if you already have a pre-existing medical condition such as diabetes. The flu shot is recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, for anyone who wants protection from influenza. For only certain medical reasons, some people should not get a flu shot – otherwise anyone over the age of 6 months can be immunized.
For the following people it is especially important to get a flu shot, because they are at greater risk of complications:
- Anyone with chronic heart or lung disease;
- Anyone with diabetes or other metabolic disease, cancer, kidney disease, a blood disorder or a weakened immune system;
- Anyone 6 months to 18 years of age on long-term treatment taking acetylsalicylic acid (ASA);
- Seniors and anyone who lives, works or volunteers in a nursing home, chronic care facility, retirement home or other health care setting;
- Emergency service workers including fire, police and ambulance staff;
- Anyone traveling to places where the flu virus is likely to be present;
- Anyone who lives in the same household or is in contact with people at risk such as those mentioned above, including children.
Some children and youth are also at risk of serious complication from influenza. Children who are at risk include those with:
- Chronic heart or lung disease such as asthma or cystic fibrosis;
- As well as children who take acetylsalicylic acid (ASA or Aspirin) daily.
- Certain other serious medical conditions also require annual flu vaccinations.
New flu strains mean a new vaccine each year.
Each year the World Health Organization identifies the particular strains of the flu the new vaccine must protect against. The vaccine is then produced to be most effective against those strains. Each year, you need to receive the new vaccine to be effectively protected against influenza.
The flu season in Australia can be a moderate predictor of the flu season in the Northern hemisphere.1 With a high number of flu cases reported before the typical beginning of the flu season, the early start to the Australian flu season suggests we can expect a highly active flu season this year in Canada.1 You can protect yourself and stay healthy this flu by getting you flu shot.
You should get immunized as soon as flu season starts.
October to April is flu season. Get immunized early as it takes 2 weeks for immunity to develop. Remember, your last year’s flu vaccination won’t protect you this year.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can get the flu shot.
The influenza vaccine is considered safe and may be beneficial for pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy and for breastfeeding mothers. Speak with your Rexall Pharmacist for more information.
Some people should NOT get a flu shot.
Influenza vaccine should not be given to people who have had an anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose or developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome within six weeks of influenza vaccination. Children who are under 6 months of age should not be given the vaccine because it does not work well in this age group. If you have a serious acute illness you should postpone your shot until you are well. Certain people should not receive influenza vaccination in nasal spray form. If you are considering this option, please speak with your health care provider to find out if it is right for you.
The flu shot is the most effective and longest lasting protection against the spread of the influenza virus. As more people are vaccinated, the influenza virus has less chance to multiply and spread in the community.
Together we can reduce the risk of flu. Your Rexall Pharmacist can provide advice and flu vaccinations to keep you, your loved ones and your community healthy. Be the first to know when the flu shot is available in your area; sign up for the Rexall Flu Shot Alert Email today.
Speak with your Rexall Pharmacist to see if the flu shot is right for you. By provincial legislation, Pharmacists cannot administer a flu shot to children under a certain age. Ask your Pharmacist for age restrictions.
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