Even though this is the peak of the flu season, it's not too late to get a flu shot.
That is the message conveyed by the Northeast Local Health Integration Network.
"I know that flu shots are one of the best ways to prevent influenza and help keep ourselves and those around us healthy," said Jeremy Stevenson, chief executive with NE LHIN.
Paul Preston, clinical vice president for NE LHIN, agrees.
"Anyone can get flu; getting vaccinated is a safe and free way to avoid and spread the virus," he said.
In a release issued by NE LHIN, the organization suggested, "Everyone six months and older is encouraged to get a vaccine, and that can be very important for people at high risk of complications that can cause pneumonia or hospitalization from flu. They include young children, seniors, pregnant women, and people with underlying health conditions.
"Influenza, or flu, is a contagious respiratory infection caused by a virus. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, and body aches. In Canada, it generally occurs in late fall and winter. It is estimated that flu causes more than 12,000 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada each year.
"It's best to get flu shots faster than later, because it takes the body two weeks to build an immune response to the vaccine."
Flu injections are free and available through primary care providers, local public health units, participating pharmacies, and health clinics in the workplace. Children between the ages of six months and four years can only be vaccinated at the office of the primary health care provider or the local public health unit.