The cold and flu season is upon us and starting today the Sun Country Health Regional will be holding influenza vaccine clinics. The publicly funded vaccine is available through public health clinics, physicians, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners.

There are specific high-risk groups that are highly encouraged for the vaccine. Groups like, people with chronic health conditions, the elderly nursing home residents, people with severe obesity, children under five and pregnant women.

"When we get a high number of person immunized it provides that extra coverage to members within our community who for some reason or another are unable to get the vaccine, perhaps medical reasons," says Dr Lanre Medu, Medical Health Officer for the Sun Country Health Region.

People who frequently come into contact with people in the "high risk" category should also ensure they get the vaccine. If you work in a care home, are going to be in contact with babies or young children, or work with food it is also important to get the flu vaccine.

"Vaccines are not without risks, however, the risk of not vaccinating far outways the risk that is vaccination," says Medu. "Vaccines are actually one of the safer medical interventions."

The flu is a contagious viral disease that is spread through sneezing, coughing or touching objects like door handles and then touching your face. Sneezing and coughing into your sleeve, frequent hand washing and surface washing and staying at home when your sick can help prevent the spread of the flu.

For more information on the Sun Country Health Regions, flu clinics visit their website.

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