Toronto residents can reduce their risk of getting sick with the flu by attending one of Toronto Public Health’s free flu vaccine clinics offered from October 26 to November 24 at four locations across the city. The flu vaccine is also available in doctors’ offices and at more than 500 Toronto pharmacies.
New this year is a high-dose vaccine specifically for seniors 65 years of age and older. The high-dose vaccine provides better protection to seniors who often need it the most. The high-dose vaccine is only available for seniors at doctors’ offices, long-term care homes, retirement homes and Toronto Public Health clinics.
“The flu season affects thousands of Torontonians each year, especially the very young, the elderly and those with a chronic health condition,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. “Getting your annual flu vaccine early is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.”
Influenza, also known as the flu, can spread to others even before symptoms appear.
The flu can be spread from person to person by small droplets produced by a cough or sneeze or by contact with contaminated hands or objects. Typical symptoms include sudden onset of high fever, chills, sore throat, cough and muscle aches. Other common symptoms include headache, loss of appetite and fatigue.
While most people will recover from the flu within a week to 10 days, it can make pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease worse, develop into serious health problems such as pneumonia and, in rare circumstances, can prove fatal. People with chronic health conditions, residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities, children six months to five years of age, healthy pregnant women and Indigenous people are at higher risk for developing complications from the flu and should ensure they get the flu vaccine each year.
The flu vaccine is free for people six months of age and older who live, work or attend school in Ontario. Children and youth between the ages of two and 17 years can get the flu vaccine as either an injection or nasal spray. No health card is required for flu vaccinations at a Toronto Public Health clinic.
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