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Headline: Time to immunizeHealth matters
Time to
immunize

Where to get your flu shot
By Susie Strachan Sept/Oct 2017
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With the annual influenza season about to start this fall, it's time to get your flu shot.

This year, there are many options available for how you can do this, according to Dr. Bunmi Fatoye, a medical officer of health with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

These options include doctors' offices, walk-in clinics, QuickCare clinics, pharmacies and public health clinics. Most of these offer the free vaccination starting in October.

"Everyone should get the influenza vaccination," says Fatoye, "unless you have been told by your doctor not to receive the vaccine due to a contraindication. The vaccine is safe, but more important is the protection you receive and confer to others when you take this important step."

It takes only a few minutes to get the shot, but you receive months of protection by equipping yourself with antibodies that will help reduce your chance of getting the infection and the severity of the flu, she adds.

Not only would your health suffer if you get the flu, you have the potential to pass the virus on to other people, including those who are more vulnerable and who would suffer more serious complications from the flu, such as seniors, young children and people with chronic health conditions.

Sick child

It is recommended that parents with children under the age of seven make appointments with their primary-care provider to receive vaccinations. Pharmacies only administer the vaccine to those age seven and older.

Another great option for families with young children is the public health clinics being held in October. New this year, the clinics will be located in each of the city's four quadrants.

Each public health flu clinic will be open for one day between Oct. 17 and 20. For more information on times and locations, see www.wrha.mb.ca/flu, or call the flu phone line at 204-956-SHOT. You can also download the Region's Connected Care app for free from the Apple App Store, which also has information on influenza.

Susie Strachan is a communications specialist with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.