With flu season approaching, the Department of Health and Community Services is encouraging Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to get a flu shot.
On Monday, October 21, the regional health authorities will begin hosting free flu shot clinics and offering the vaccine through community health offices. For more information on scheduled clinic locations, people can visit the website of their respective regional health authority found in the Learn More section below or call 811.
Flu shots are also available from local pharmacies who may charge a fee. Anyone who has a Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program card can get a flu shot free from any pharmacy that offers the service.
This year’s vaccine protects against two strains of influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and two strains of influenza B (Victoria and Yamagata). Getting the flu shot in the fall or early winter gives the body time to build up immunity. Through the province’s publicly funded vaccination program, approximately 138,000 people received the flu shot in 2018, an increase of 13,000 from the year before.
“The flu is more serious than people may realize. It can make a person sick for a long period of time. I encourage everyone to protect themselves and their families this flu season. The vaccine is the most effective way to prevent illness and control the spread of the virus.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services
“The flu shot is recommended to everyone over the age of six months. It is especially important for people who are at higher risk from the complications of influenza. This includes pregnant women, those with chronic conditions, and those over the age of 65. We also encourage parents to vaccinate their children as the flu can spread rapidly through the pre-school and school-aged populations.”
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald
Medical Officer of Health
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Health and Community Services