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Monday, October 28, 2019

After a Delay the Flu Shot Will be Ready for November

Saugeen Shores | by Megan Johnson  

During the 2017-2018 season 38 percent of Canadian adults were vaccinated

Flu season is upon us and flu vaccines were delayed a few weeks but will be ready for the public at doctors' offices and pharmacies on November 1.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had delayed in distributing flu vaccines to work with multiple strains, says Pharmacist Kristen Watt of Kristen's Pharmacy in Southampton.

"There's four strains in it this year and they (WHO) delayed it to make sure they had made the best choice for the best match to this flu season," she says.

The Pharmacist says Australia is the place to watch as the continent has already started its 2019 flu season. 

"It was a bad flu season down there," says Watt.

"It's a good reason for us to push to get their flu shot here as early as possible, to prevent it from circulating or spreading".

Once one receives a flu shot it typically takes two weeks to take effect. The following days one might feel chills, see swelling, or have a fever. 

"That's actually your immune system turning on; making those memory cells," says Watt. 

Adding, "the flu shot does not give you the flu".
 
"It's bits and pieces of the influenza virus...the proteins and things like that... your body will recognize it and make the immunity against."

Earlier this year it was announced that the Nasal Flu Vaccine (FluMist Quadrivalent) would not be distributed in Canada due to a shortage of global supply. The nasal vaccine was for youth aged 5-18. Watt says "we're not finding it to be a big loss" as it was not often used. 

A survey conducted across Canada last year concluded most adults were vaccinated in October or November at 79 percent of vaccination recipients. 

During the 2017-2018 season 38 percent of  Canadian adults were vaccinated.

Some people at higher risk for health problems due to the flu, including: young children, people with certain chronic medical conditions and seniors were able to recieve a limited supply of the shot before the November 1 date.

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