A long line-up of people turned out in order to roll up their sleeves and get their influenza immunization during the first flu shot clinic in the Southwest on Monday.
The first of 38 clinics to be held across the Cypress Health Region was hosted at the Swift Current Mall on October 23, but free influenza vaccinations will be offered in a total of 20 communities during the Cypress Health Regions influenza immunization campaign.
Dr. David Torr, the Medical Health Officer for the Health Region, was on hand to get his flu shot as well as highlight the importance of receiving a seasonal influenza vaccination.
“There are a good number of the very people we recommend as high priority, seniors and young children, and probably there’s individuals who have chronic conditions as well,” he said of the long line of people at Monday’s clinic. “They know how protective this is and how important it is. What we hope is that the rest of the population also recognizes the importance,”
He noted that while an individual may feel that they are very healthy and strong, anybody can get hard hit by the flu.
“It’s not your every day common cold,” Dr. Torr said. “When you take that shot, you’re protected. If you get exposed to the virus, it can’t multiply as much as it would if you didn’t have the shot. So you can’t spread as much as you would when you’re not vaccinated.”
“But It’s a double help. It helps you and it helps those around you.”
He said that for those people who are unable to attend a public clinic, they have the ability to get their flu shots through public health, participating pharmacies, and participating family physician practices.
And while there are many factors that make it difficult to predict the type of flu season ahead, he noted that they are aware of the difficult flu season in other parts of the world.
“We know that in Australia, who are just coming out of their winter, they had it pretty hard with the H3N2. It’s an Influenza A virus and it’s been pretty vicious for their season. The good thing is we have H3N2 covered in our vaccine this year,” Dr. Torr said.
For additional details of the influenza immunization campaign visit cypresshealth.ca.