Families prioritized for appointment-only flu clinics

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Southwestern Public Health is offering appointment-only flu clinics this fall designed for families as part of a coordinated approach to delivering flu vaccination during COVID-19.

“Pharmacies, primary care providers, and public health are working together to prioritize those most vulnerable to the flu and avoid a ‘twindemic’ situation that would overwhelm the health care system,” said Dr. Joyce Lock, Medical Officer of Health for the Oxford-Elgin region in a media release.

Southwestern Public Health is holding clinics in November for families with children aged 5 and under, their siblings and caregivers (parents, guardians) only. Appointments are required and can be booked online at www.swpublichealth.ca/flushot or by phone at 1-800-922-0096 ext. 4.

COVID-19-related restrictions apply, such as wearing a face covering for anyone aged 2 or older, cancelling if sick, and maintaining physical distancing while at the appointment.

Individuals who have a primary care provider are encouraged to get a flu shot at a flu clinic scheduled by their provider. Many local pharmacies also offer flu shots for free. If you cannot access a flu shot through primary care or a pharmacy, contact public health to book an appointment.

Those aged 65 or older are recommended to get a flu shot at a local pharmacy or through their primary care provider.

Influenza is a serious respiratory illness, particularly for young children and those aged 65 or older. Each year flu leads to 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada and peaks between late December and January.

For more information about influenza, visit www.swpublichealth.ca/flu.