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Get the shot, not the flu: Interlake-Eastern RHA hosting 75 flu clinics across the region

It has been 100 years since the 1918 pandemic of Spanish flu devastated populations in Canada and the entire globe. With no vaccine or effective treatment, the Spanish flu overwhelmed Canada and every inhabited region beyond, killing more than 50 million people worldwide. Having arrived in Canada in the spring of 1918, a mutation of the flu virus produced an extremely contagious, deadly form of the disease in the fall of 1918 – resulting in 90 per cent of the deaths during the pandemic. 

The Spanish flu was a significant event in the evolution of public health in Canada. Over the many decades since that time, efforts of the health and scientific communities have dramatically improved influenza preparedness. However, with flu viruses constantly changing, seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses continue to pose a threat. But unlike 1918, we now have better ways to prevent flu infections.

Influenza vaccine is the single most effective way to protect yourself, your family and anyone you may interact with from getting the flu. Along with a flu shot, infection control practices such as good handwashing, covering your cough and staying home when sick, help reduce the spread of flu.

The Interlake-Eastern RHA is hosting 75 public health flu vaccination clinics across the region beginning in October. For public clinics, visit www.ierha.ca under Care in Your Community/Public Health/Immunization to find and print our full listing of flu clinics. In addition to public clinics, public health nurses will be hosting 26 clinics at community housing facilities (including some seniors’ residences) in the Interlake-Eastern RHA. Residents in these facilities can check their building’s bulletin boards for flu clinic details.

Getting a flu shot has never been easier. Most physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists are also giving flu shots. Let’s work together for a collectively healthier community!

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