Northern Health and pharmacies through the region are rolling out the annual flu shot campaign, and some might wonder, how does it work? Catherine Hansen has more on today's To Your Health.
(Announcer:) And now, "To Your Health". Brought to you by Hart Drugs, Third Avenue Pharmacy and the Phoenix Pharmacy.
(Catherine Hansen - Reporting:) Free clinics, workplace opportunities and pharmacies are all places the flu shot can be accessed this fall, and the entire process takes about fifteen minutes. A very small amount of the actual virus is contained in a flu vaccine.
(Patrick Dinelle - Pharmacist:) "Flu shot vaccines contain a small amount of inactivated virus which, when it enters your body, we actually build up our own antibodies, and that's boosting our immune system, so we can fight off the flu when it might happen to a person."
(Hansen:) The flu shot is developed based on what other strains are found in the Southern Hemisphere each year, so they vary from season to season. It's patterns there that lay the groundwork for predicting which viruses may strike by the time they make their way north. Typically the flu season begins in November, and peaks during the holidays and very cold months.
(Dr Andrew Gray - Northern Health:) "Some people have been concerned that this year might be worse than average. I think partially based on, that's been the case in some countries in the Southern Hemisphere, for example Australia. But it's too early to tell, I mean we have to be cautious and always prepare for whatever might happen, but at this point in the year we just don't know yet."
(Hansen:) Those getting the flu vaccine this year haven't really noticed too many side effects.
(Dinelle:) "So far this year, for patients who I've talked to after the flu shot, there hasn't really been too much. Some minor lethargy or feeling a little bit tired. But most people haven't noticed too much, other than the arm might be sore for a day or so, but even that seems to be less so this year."
(Hansen:) Health officials say the benefits outweigh the risks of getting a flu shot. When you get immunized, you are boosting the immunity of your entire community, as you likely won't contract or spread the respiratory disease. To your health, Catherine Hansen, CKPG News.
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