3 reasons why YOU should get vaccinated against influenza this season

1. An opportunity to take CONTROL

We have all felt helpless and vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our lives have been impacted by business closures, lifestyle restrictions and the inability to travel. Concerns around health and well- being have been heightened during this difficult time. With the recourse limited to wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing our hands. We long to act in the best interest of our health. Taking control means investing in our own preventative health initiatives. A healthy diet and regular exercise are strongly encouraged during this difficult time. Taking your medications is an important life-long intervention to prevent disease and hospitalization. Vaccinating yourself against preventable disease like influenza is your defense against communicable disease. By the way, it also protects those around you as well!

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2. Influenza and COVID-19 have similar symptoms

You wake up starting the day feeling very unwell. A high temperature, bad muscle aches, cough , headache and overall tiredness. Sounds like the symptoms of COVID-19 doesn’t it? Before rushing off
to get that COVID-19 test and frantically trying to remember who you have been socializing with for the past 2 weeks….. remember that influenza has similar symptoms! The management strategy (and subsequent stress!) is the same. We call it “influenza like illness” and if you experience these symptoms you should take the appropriate precautions, call 811, and seek a healthcare provider if your symptoms worsen. Just remember you can take an extra step (beyond social distancing, masking and handwashing) by getting vaccinated against influenza to reduce your risk of experiencing “influenza like illness”.

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3. Buckle up and get vaccinated this coming influenza season!

Many people do not get the yearly influenza vaccination because it is “not that effective”. Comparing the influenza vaccination with other vaccines that we get such as hepatitis B and measles two concerns arise. One, the effectiveness of influenza vaccination is not nearly 100%. Secondly getting vaccinated against influenza is not a one and done, as you have to roll up the sleeve every season. The reason for this is the ever complex and changing nature of the influenza virus. Scientists around the globe try their absolute best to obtain the best “match” for the vaccine against the incoming strain each year. Unfortunately, to date there has not been a 100% match. Putting things into prospective – when you buckle up each time you travel in a car – do you expect 100% protection against death or injury in the event of an accident? A seatbelt reduces your risk of injury and death but does not prevent it 100%! In fact, the data behind the effectiveness of a seatbelt and influenza vaccination are pretty similar. Buckle up and get vaccinated this coming influenza season!

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