Stay healthy this flu season

The leaves have fallen, colder weather is here and flu season is right around the corner.  Get a flu vaccine now for you and your loved ones. By getting the vaccine, you can help prevent flu-related illness, missed school, and missed work.

Protecting residents’ health by delivering a full range of public health programs and services is one of our key priorities.  Halton Region Health Department staff, including our public health nurses, work closely with community partners such as school boards, doctors’ offices and hospitals, to help residents prepare for the flu season. 

One of the many myths our health professionals encounter every flu season centres around the confusion between “stomach flu” and influenza. Influenza, commonly known as “the flu,” is a serious respiratory disease caused by a virus which infects your breathing passages.  It has no connection to stomach flu.   

Another common myth is that the flu shot can actually give you the virus. In fact, the vaccine cannot give you the flu because it does not contain any live virus. Instead, the vaccine triggers a natural response from your immune system that will help you fight the flu.  

You can learn more about the vaccine from You and the Flu, a great video from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. It explains how the vaccine is made and how it helps you stay flu free.

Take time to learn the facts about influenza.  Then protect yourself and your family by getting a flu shot.

Here is where you can get your flu vaccine:

  • Halton Region’s Health Department offers free flu clinics from October to January.
  • The flu vaccine is also available from your family doctor and nurse practitioners.
  • Additional clinics will be held at various participating workplaces. Check with your employer to find out if a flu clinic is being planned at your workplace.
  • Some pharmacies and walk-in clinics will also be hosting flu immunization clinics.

For more information on the flu, please dial 311 or call Halton Region at 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866 or TTY 905-827-9833 or visit www.halton.ca/flu.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”