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Flu Clinics

Flu clinics for individuals at higher-risk for the complications of influenza will begin in Sun Country Health Region (SCHR) on Tuesday October 14.

Free immunization is available to those at increased risk of influenza-related complications including:
• pregnant women,
• adults over 65 years of age,
• residents of long-term care facilities,
• children aged six months to 23 months;
• and children and adults with certain chronic health conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, heart and lung diseases.

It's been shown that the influenza vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent getting the flu," says Dr. Shauna Hudson, Medical Health Officer for Sun Country Health Region.

"Frequent hand washing also reduces the spread of the disease," she says.

Dr. Hudson says it is also important that young children, especially those between 6 months and 23 months of age, receive the flu shot. She says children in this age group are more likely to be hospitalized with complications like pneumonia - if they get the flu - than older children.

Pregnant women are also at high risk for the complications of influenza, especially in the second and third trimester of their pregnancy. Dr. Hudson encourages all pregnant women to get a flu shot.

Dr. Hudson says the effectiveness of the flu vaccine depends on several factors, including the similarity of the vaccine component to the circulating virus strains. The viruses that cause influenza are continually changing, so people need a flu shot each year to make sure their body forms antibodies against the new flu viruses.

With a "good match" the vaccine can provide 70-90 per cent protection in healthy individuals, she says.

"But even when there is an imperfect match, studies have shown the vaccine still reduced the over-all risk of influenza infection by 40-50 per cent and reduces hospitalizations for complications by 50 to 60%."

Media: For more information, please call Dr. Shauna Hudson, Medical Health Officer for Sun Country Health Region, 530-1859. Please find attached a complete schedule of all free clinics in Sun Country Health Region.

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