The Flu Shot - Why We Get It....And Why We Don't! #DontgoViral

Oct 19, 2016

This year I noticed advertisements and articles on the flu shot before it was even available. CKDM does an amazing job of announcing flu vaccination clinics going on in the Parkland. There are also ads in the Parkland Shopper, online and posters promoting the flu shot are stapled everywhere. You cannot say people are not aware its flu season or time to get flu shots!

However, more than 1 billion people in the world will get the seasonal flu every year. Flu season in Canada is currently here! In Canada, an average of 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths related to the flu occur each year. While you might not be concerned about getting the flu, the best reason to get it is so you do not pass it along to others. Do you have a baby or infant at home? Are you going to be in contact with a family member who has a chronic illness like diabetes, asthma or even cancer? Do you spend time with someone who is elderly. If you do, don't go viral. Get the flu shot. The Public Health Agency of Canada states "Immunization has saved more lives in Canada in the last 50 years than any other medical intervention. You can tell that to the next person in the coffee shop who states vaccinations do not work or are not needed.

While every Manitoban aged 6 months and up is advised to get the flu shot, the reality is uptake is low. Many provinces have up to 1/3 of the population getting the flu shot. In Manitoba last year our uptake was around 22% or slightly better than 1/5. As much as we talk about the flu shot, we aren't actually rolling up our sleeves. If you feel as though you may not have time to wait at a clinic to get one, the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy has you covered. Any person aged 7 and up is able to receive a flu shot FREE of charge at the pharmacy Monday to Friday. You do not need an appointment and can fill out the form ahead of time by getting it off our website at You can also fill it out at the pharmacy while you wait for the shot. It can be done in a matter of minutes, and you just have to wait around for a few minutes after the shot as standard procedure after any vaccination.

An article in the Huffington Post recently found the number one reason people do not get the flu shot is they believe it does more harm than good. While a portion of people feel the vaccine is not necessary, a handful feel it doesn't work, most actually worried about the potential negative side effects. To reiterate, of those who do not get the shot the number one reason is due to some type of fear.

The flu shot is extremely safe if you consider scientific evidence and not what your friends posted on Facebook. Time to get the shot and not feeling well? If you have a severe illness with or without fever, you should usually wait until the symptoms subside before being immunized. However, people with a minor illness with or without a fever (e.g., a cold) can still get the influenza vaccines. The chance of having a severe reaction to the flu vaccine is about 1 in a million people. In fact the chances of obtaining the reaction due to the flu itself and not the injection are actually more common.

Preservatives with seemingly scary names do exist in the flu vaccine but they have been studied and are shown to be safe. Secondly they are injected at such low amounts in the body, that its insignificant. People with egg allergies cannot get the most common type of flu shot, but options to get immunized do exist. The best way to calm your fears is to admit you have one and talk to your pharmacist about them.

If I have convinced you to get the flu shot, get it at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy. Pharmacy is changing, the role of the pharmacist is expanding and your clinic pharmacist cares about your overall health. We do our best to deliver quality health care to you and your family. It's not just about the medication. For the 730 CKDM pharmacy feature and your Parkland Flu Shot headquarters, the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy, I am Barret Procyshyn.


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