SIMCOE, OCTOBER 15, 2012 – Residents hoping to avoid the flu bug this year can again take advantage of the annual vaccination clinics conducted by the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit.

The free clinics, staffed by Health Unit nurses, will take place in a variety of locales in Haldimand and Norfolk Counties throughout October and November. The first clinics in October will be geared to seniors because they have a higher risk of suffering more severe illness from the influenza virus. These clinics for seniors begin October 22, with clinics open to the public beginning October 29.

“The two most important ways to protect yourself from getting the flu are to wash your hands frequently and get your flu shot,” said Eric Robertson, Public Health Nurse for the Vaccine Preventable Disease Program at the Health Unit. “This is especially important if you are over 65 or have a chronic health condition.”

The flu is highly contagious and can cause severe complications for those with heart, lung and other health problems. Even if you don’t become severely ill, getting the flu can mean several missed days of school, work and other activities.

The virus spreads through droplets, which have been coughed or sneezed into the air by someone who has the flu. The flu virus is also found on the hands of people with the flu and on surfaces that they have touched.

“Getting a flu shot not only protects you, but it also protects your friends, co-workers and loved ones, because if you don’t catch it, you don’t spread it,” Robertson pointed out.

In Canada, flu season usually runs from November to April and affects millions of Canadians each year. Because the influenza virus changes often, it is necessary to get the flu shot every year to protect against new strains.

Flu vaccinations are a proven, safe and effective way to reduce your chances of getting the flu.
Contrary to a popular myth that often circulates during this time of year, it is not possible to get the flu from a flu vaccination because the vaccine does not contain any live virus.

The most common side effect is soreness at the site of injection, which will disappear in a couple of days. On rare occasions, people might notice a slight fever, fatigue and muscle aches within six to 12 hours after the shot. These effects are mild and may last a day or two. Severe reaction to a flu shot is rare.

Flu vaccines are available, and safe, for anyone over 6 months of age. Children under 9 years of age who have never had a flu shot will need two doses of the vaccine, given at least 4 weeks apart.

If you have any questions regarding influenza or influenza vaccine please contact a member of the Vaccine Preventable Disease Program at the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit at 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623.

Below is a list of the clinics being held by the Health Unit. No appointment is necessary.

Seniors Flu Clinics

Monday, Oct. 22 – Delhi Senior Friendship Centre (418 Queen St., Delhi) – 9:30 a.m. to noon
Tuesday, Oct. 23 – Grandview Lodge (657 Lock St. W., Dunnville) – 9:30 a.m. to noon
Wednesday, Oct. 24 – Simcoe Town Centre (150 West St., Simcoe) – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 26 – Haldimand County Caledonia Centre (100 Haddington St., Caledonia) – 9:30 a.m. to noon

Public & Seniors Flu Clinics

Monday, Oct. 29 – Dunnville Secondary School – 3:30 to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 30 – Holy Trinity Catholic High School, Simcoe – 4 to 7 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 1 – McKinnon Park Secondary School, Caledonia – 4 to 7 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 5 – Delhi Secondary School – 4 to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 6 – Cayuga Secondary School – 4 to 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 7 – Langton Community Centre – 4 to 7 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 8 – Hagersville Secondary School – 4 to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 13 – Port Dover Composite School – 4 to 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 14 – Waterford District High School – 4 to 7 p.m.


Media contact:
Eric Robertson
Public Health Nurse, Vaccine Preventable Disease Program
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Ext. 3227 at either 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623