For most of us, influenza will cause a few days of fever, cough and generally feeling unwell. But for some, this highly contagious respiratory disease can lead to severe complications requiring hospitalization or even death.
“Many Canadians don’t know that healthy children under the age of five and seniors over sixty-five, people with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease, pregnant women, Aboriginal people, people who are obese, and residents of nursing homes and other health care facilities are vulnerable groups that need protection from influenza,” explains Dr. Shelly McNeil, chair of Immunize Canada.
“This makes influenza prevention by healthy individuals who can pass it on to those at high risk for severe complications a necessity,” says Dr. Le Saux, vice-chair of Immunize Canada. “Healthy individuals can shed the influenza virus and transmit it before they experience any symptoms. That’s why it is so important to get vaccinated against influenza every year.”
This fall, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that all Canadians six months of age and older and people at high risk receive the seasonal influenza vaccine. The seasonal influenza vaccine is safe and prevents the spread of influenza.
The best time to get vaccinated is from October through to December, but it is never too late. Talk to your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or public health office about getting vaccinated with this year’s influenza vaccine.
Track your influenza vaccination using the free ImmunizeCA app available for secure, free download at the App Store andGoogle Play. All can be accessed online at immunize.ca/app.