It’s “critical” that those able to get their flu shot do, according to Dr. Colin Lee with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU).
“Low rates of influenza during the past two seasons means our immunity against the flu virus is lower than usual,” says Lee, SMDHU’s Associate Medical Officer of Health. “Coupled this year with reduced public health measures like masking and social distancing, we are anticipating it may be a more severe flu season.”
Lee explains getting the shot is the most effective way to prevent or reduce the severity and duration of the disease.
“Some individuals are more vulnerable to serious complications and hospitalization from the flu and are encouraged to get the flu shot as soon as possible,” he adds. That includes individuals who are pregnant, people who live in nursing or other chronic care homes, anyone between six months to four years old or over 65, Indigenous peoples, and healthcare providers.
The flu shot is available, for free, at pharmacies for those two years or older. The vaccine is also available in other settings for those at a higher risk.