It's easy and it's free #FightTheFlu
Toronto, October 29, 2018 - Ontario's Government for the People is encouraging Ontario
families to get their free flu shot to stay healthy and prevent hospital visits
this flu season.
Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care,
was at Snowdon Pharmacy to get her flu shot.
"The flu shot is the best defence to reduce the risk of getting and spreading the
virus," said Elliott. "The vaccine is available across the province to protect you
and your family. By investing in preventative measures like the flu shot, we can
help save lives and reduce the strain on our system."
Getting the flu shot is safe and easier than ever. Every batch of the vaccine is
tested using strict guidelines for safety and quality. The shot is available from
doctors or nurse practitioners and, in most cases, from local pharmacies or public
To help get the word out, Minister Elliott encouraged colleagues, community leaders
and people across the province to get their flu shot and post about it on social
media using the hashtag #FightTheFlu.
The flu shot protects against the most common viruses expected this season. The
flu can be passed on before showing symptoms leading to doctor's visits, sometimes
hospital stays or sadly, in some cases, death. This makes getting vaccinated against
the flu every year an important part of keeping Ontarians healthy.
"Each year, thousands of people across the province get the flu, which puts extra
pressure on our hospitals," said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
"When you get the flu shot, it reduces your risk of being seriously ill, taking
time away from school, work or spending time with families."
It takes about two weeks for the vaccination to reach its full effect. Children
four and under, pregnant people and seniors are particularly at risk of serious
complications due to the flu.
A 2018 Canadian study found that people are six times more likely to have a heart
attack in the weeks after having the flu, and this risk may be higher among those
65 years and older.
There were about 8,908 flu-related hospitalizations and among those, 619 deaths
in Ontario last flu season.
For more information on the flu and where to get your shot, visit ontario.ca/flu.