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Toronto Public Health's free flu vaccine clinics begin today

Friday, November 8, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Toronto Public Health (TPH) is reminding Toronto residents that the best way to prevent the flu and protect others in the community from getting it is to get the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is available at one of TPH's four flu vaccine clinics from November 8 to 15. It is also available through health care providers and at more than 500 local pharmacies.

Influenza, also known as the flu, can spread to others before symptoms even appear. Typical flu symptoms include sudden onset of high fever, chills, sore throat, cough and muscle aches. Other common symptoms include headache, loss of appetite and feeling tired. Recovering from the flu usually takes a week to 10 days but for some people it can worsen pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma or heart disease, or develop into more serious health problems such as pneumonia and, in rare circumstances, can be fatal.

The flu is spread from person to person by small droplets produced by a cough or sneeze or through contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects. In addition to receiving your flu shot early in the season, effective ways to fight the flu are to wash your hands often, cover your cough or sneeze and stay home when you're sick.

People who are most vulnerable to the effects of the flu include seniors, individuals with chronic health conditions, residents of nursing homes and chronic care facilities, children six months to five years of age, pregnant women and Indigenous people.

For seniors, a high-dose flu vaccine which provides them with better protection is available at TPH clinics, doctor's offices and long-term care and retirement homes. TPH is also holding clinics in shelters and drop-in centres until the end of the month. Children six months of age and older can get the flu vaccine as an injection; the nasal spray vaccine is not available in Canada this year.

The flu vaccine is free for people six months of age and older who live, work or attend school in Ontario. A health card is not required at a TPH clinic. Flu clinic appointments can be booked online at https://www.tphbookings.c....