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Flu Season Notice: Kids Need Flu Shot

Children Under Five at Higher Risk of Serious Illness from Influenza With the weather cooling off and a new flu season fast approaching, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr.
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Children Under Five at Higher Risk of Serious Illness from Influenza

With the weather cooling off and a new flu season fast approaching, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Arlene King is asking parents to make sure their children get the flu shot.

The highest numbers of flu cases are in the one to four year old age group. Dr. King stresses that the sooner kids get the flu shot the better since it takes about two weeks to become fully effective.

Children between the ages of six months and four years old can get their flu shot at doctors' offices and at public health or community flu immunization clinics.

For parents, caregivers and children aged five and up, thousands of Ontario pharmacists will also be offering free flu shots as part of the Ontario government's Universal Influenza Immunization Program, designed to make it more convenient for people to protect themselves and others from the spread of influenza.

This year, pharmacists at almost 2,000 drug stores across Ontario will be fully trained and ready to deliver free flu shots - roughly triple the number of pharmacy locations as last year.

Quick Facts

  • Data from the 2011-12 flu season shows that in Ontario almost half (46.8 per cent) of all flu cases reported occurred in those over 65 and in children under the age of five.
  • In addition to young children and the elderly, those who are especially encouraged to get the flu shot are people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and those who provide care and may transmit influenza to people at high risk, particularly health care workers.

"Many people understand that the elderly are at higher risk of serious illness or even death as a result of influenza, but what they may not realize is that young children – especially those under five – are among those at highest risk. That’s why we’re issuing a special appeal to parents to make sure that their young children are protected by getting the flu shot.”

Dr. Arlene King

Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health




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