KINBURN – With respiratory illnesses choking Ottawa-area hospital emergency rooms, an ounce of prevention is worth a lot more than a pound of cure.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is hosting a flu vaccine clinic at the West Carleton Community Complex (5670 Carp Rd.) this Friday (Dec. 16) and staff have made more appointments available.
The clinic is open to households with children six months old to five years.
“The earlier you get the vaccine, the better your chances are to prevent getting the flu virus,” OPH staff released in a statement. “The flu is a viral infection that can have severe complications. Anyone can get the flu virus. The flu is not just a cold. You could miss school, work, parties, holidays, or even end up in the hospital.”
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months of age and over.
“This year with the presence of COVID-19 circulating in the community, it is especially important for high risks groups to get the flu vaccine to reduce the potential risk of having COVID-19 and influenza at the same time,” OPH said. “Getting your annual flu vaccine is an important way to help protect yourself, your family and high risk groups in your community against seasonal flu. It will also help reduce the burden on Canada’s health care system during this unprecedented time.”
The flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, but it will help reduce your risk of getting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Having both illnesses at the same time could put you at a higher risk for severe illness.
If you would like to make an appointment for Friday’s clinic in Kinburn, click here.
Flu vaccines are also available at participating pharmacies and health care providers for anyone six months of age or older. In West Carleton, participating pharmacies include the Constance Bay Pharmacy (179 Constance Bay Rd.) or the West Carleton Drug Mart (461 Donald B. Munro Dr.) in Carp. Vaccine availability may vary by provider.
People may be required to provide proof they live, work, or attend school in Ontario to receive the publicly funded flu vaccine. Many different identification documents are accepted to prove eligibility (such as health card, mail with name and address, pay stub, student card). Having a health card is not a requirement, however, some health care providers may request one for their services.