September 27th, 2013

Get the facts about the flu shot

flluMyths

As the number of flu cases continues to increase this flu season, it isn’t too late to receive your flu shot. London Drugs Certified Injection Pharmacists can help protect you from the seasonal flu, and ensure you’re up-to-date with any other vaccinations you may require, such as:

  • Shingles
  • HPV (human papilloma virus)
  • Pneumonia
  • Hepatitis A & B

Stay healthy this New Year by calling or visiting your local London Drugs pharmacy to book your influenza vaccination appointment today. This year’s dominant flu strain is H1N1, which is one of the flu strains the vaccine protects against

Ask if you qualify for a free flu shot or other recommended vaccine. If not, a fee applies.

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Myth 1: I’m young and healthy, so I don’t need the flu shot.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends the flu shot for everyone over the age of six months since some of the most serious flu viruses can even pose a risk to young, healthy people. According to Health Canada, it’s estimated that between 10 to 20% of the population becomes infected with the flu virus each year, resulting in an average of 20,000 hospitalizations of the more serious cases. Another concern is that the virus can spread rapidly to children or the elderly, who can have a much tougher time recovering. So protect yourself and those around you by getting your flu shot.

*Certain groups should not get vaccinated. Refer here for more info: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/iif-vcg/gs-pg-eng.php

Myth 2: The flu shot causes the flu.

That’s definitely a myth. Why? Because injectable flu vaccines do not contain any live virus so they cannot cause the flu. Sometimes people mistake catching a cold afterwards for catching the flu.

Despite the scientific impossibility of getting the flu from the flu shot, this widespread flu myth won’t die. Experts suspect two reasons for its persistence. One, people mistake the side effects of the vaccine for flu. While side effects to the vaccine these days tend to be a sore arm, in the past, side effects often felt like mild symptoms of the flu. Two, flu seasons coincides with a time of year when bugs causing colds and other respiratory illnesses are in the air. Many people get the vaccine and then, within a few days, get sick with an unrelated cold virus. However, they blame the innocent flu shot, rather than their co-worker with a runny nose and cough.

Myth 3: I got the flu shot last year, so I don’t need it this year.

Flu virus strains around the globe are constantly changing. Each year in February the World Health Organization evaluates conditions and selects three influenza virus isolates. These strains are the basis for flu vaccine production for the following fall and winter flu season, ensuring the vaccine is as current and effective as possible against the most active virus expected in the coming flu season. So help keep yourself protected by getting a flu shot every year.

One Response to “Get the facts about the flu shot

  1. Kimiko Says:

    Hi Roy,

    Please click on the “Schedule your flu shot” link to call your local pharmacy to either book an appointment during the clinic or for another time.

    If you’re a BC resident and over the age of 65, then the flu shot is free. If you’re from Alberta and have a personal health number, it is also free.

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