Western Health is advising that influenza vaccine clinics (flu shot) will be available beginning October 17, 2022. Western Health is recommending the flu shot for everyone older than 6 months of age, to reduce the spread of influenza and protect our population.
Western Health’s vaccine clinics will provide both flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines, including the bivalent booster. Residents may receive both vaccines safely at the same time.
Appointments are required for both the influenza and COVID vaccine. If you choose to receive both vaccines during the same visit to a vaccine clinic but appointments are not available at the same time on that day, please book appointments for both and arrive at the vaccine clinic at the earliest appointment time. The clinic staff will provide both vaccines and make efforts to minimize your wait time.
Individuals are eligible to receive their COVID booster 20 weeks from their last vaccine dose or 3 months from COVID-19 infection.
The Bivalent Vaccine is currently available for the following individuals:
-Aged 18 and over
-Aged 12 years to 18 years who have an underlying medical condition that places them at high risk of severe COVID-19 disease.
Individuals who are older than five, but not yet 18 can still receive a booster dose, however, they will be given the original vaccine.
Online booking is available for vaccine appointments (except 6 month to 5-year-olds). Appointments can be booked online here. Those unable to book online can schedule an appointment by calling 1-833-703-5470 toll free. Individuals who are homebound and not able to visit a vaccine clinic/physician office can call 1-833-703-5470 to coordinate a home visit.
Individuals who are at least six months of age, but not yet five are still able to receive a primary series of COVID vaccine, however they are not eligible for boosters at this time. COVID Vaccine appointments for children under five will not be offered at vaccine clinics. Please contact your local public health office to coordinate an appointment time.
Western Health reminds the public to arrive for their appointment no earlier than ten minutes in advance, to bring their MCP card and to wear a short-sleeved shirt. Further instructions will be provided on site.
Residents may also receive their shots through their family physician or local pharmacy. Physicians can administer the vaccine to everyone, regardless of age, while pharmacists can administer the vaccine to people five years of age and older.
See Western Health's vaccine clinic schedule here.
Influenza is a severe respiratory infection caused by influenza A and B viruses and is commonly referred to as "the flu." The symptoms, although cold-like, are far more serious and can include the sudden onset of headache, chills, fatigue, and cough accompanied with body aches and fever.
Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent influenza.
WHO SHOULD GET A FLU SHOT?
Everyone in Newfoundland and Labrador 6 months old and above should get a flu shot.
Public Health is recommending everyone get the flu shot, especially those people at high-risk of flu-related complications, including:
· Adults 65 years old and above;
· Anyone with a chronic medical condition;
· Residents in nursing homes, long-term care homes, and personal care homes;
· Health care workers;
· Care providers for children under the age of 5;
· Workers providing care in closed facilities such as correctional facilities; and,
· Pregnant women.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THE FLU?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by many viruses. It affects the nose, throat and lungs.
· High fever;
· Aches and pains;
· Extreme fatigue and weakness;
· Runny or stuffy nose;
· Coughing and chest discomfort; or,
· Sore throat.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECOVER FROM THE FLU?
Most people recover from the flu in 5 to 7 days.
If you have the flu, please stay home. Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of clear liquids.
You can speak to your health care provider or call 811 to get advice on what you can do to manage your symptoms or whether you need to seek additional medical care.
For some people, the flu can be serious. If you’re in one of the high-risk groups, please monitor your symptoms.
If your symptoms get worse or your symptoms last a long time, please speak to your health care provider.
Possible complications of the flu include pneumonia, worsening of chronic conditions, or death.
HOW CAN I PREVENT MYSELF FROM GETTING THE FLU?
To avoid getting and spreading the flu:
· Get the flu shot;
· Wash your hands frequently;
· Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow;
· Stay home if you are sick;
· Limit contact with other people while you are sick;
· Limit contact with others who are sick;
· Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth;
· Don’t share utensils, bottles, cosmetics; and,
· Disinfect surfaces regularly like taps, doorknobs and countertops