THUNDER BAY – HEALTH – The Thunder Bay District Health Unit have launched their annual community flu shot clinics. The start of the clinics was on Monday at the West Thunder Community Centre. This year, the Health Unit will host one clinic per week with the last clinic on Thursday, November 30. Clinics will also be held in eight district communities served by the TBDHU.
Getting the flu shot is easier now that pharmacists are licensed to give the flu shot to people aged 5 and older. To accommodate families with children younger than 5 years old, the TBDHU has scheduled its clinics after the work day and into the early evening since public health nurses may immunize those 6 months of age and older.
“Flu vaccines trigger your immune system to produce antibodies that fight the flu virus, but it can take up to two weeks for the antibodies to develop. The sooner you get immunized, the sooner you will be protected,” says Dr Emily Groot, associate medical officer of health.
Although the flu shot is recommended for everyone, it is especially important for people at greater risk of serious illness, including:
- Babies under 6 months. These children are too young to get the flu shot, but they’ll get some protection if their caregivers get immunized.
- Children under 5 years of age. Their immune systems are developing and their airways are small and more easily blocked.
- People over 65 years old. Their immune systems are weaker and they may have an underlying condition that increases their risk.
- Pregnant people. Their immune system, heart and lungs change – especially later in pregnancy – and makes it harder to fight infection
- People who have weakened immune systems OR underlying health conditions, including cancer treatment, asthma, heart disease, lung disease or diabetes.
Those who provide care to high-risk individuals should also consider a flu shot. This includes family members, health care providers, teachers, home care workers and child care providers.
Before planning to get a flu shot, it’s important to remember that:
- Children 6 months to 4 years CANNOT be immunized at a pharmacy; pharmacists can only immunize children 5 years and older.
- An Ontario health card is required by pharmacies and healthcare providers. The card is not required at Health Unit community clinics.
Flu clinics for the City of Thunder Bay and its surrounding rural communities run weekly beginning Monday, October 23 for 6 weeks. Flu shot clinics will be held in district communities, including Geraldton, Longlac, Red Rock, Nipigon, Terrace Bay, Schreiber, Marathon and Manitouwadge between October 24 and November 15.
For the schedule, please visit Thunderbayflu.ca. Community members can also use Ontario’s flu locator to find a convenient pharmacy offering the flu shot by visiting https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-flu-shot.
2017 Flu Season
Flu Clinic Schedule:
City of Thunder Bay and surrounding Rural Communities:
- Monday, Oct 23 – 4 to 7 pm – West Thunder Community Centre,
915 Edward St S
- Thursday, Nov 2 – 4 to 7 pm – Current River Community Centre,
450 Dewe Ave
- Tuesday, Nov 7 – 5 to 7 pm – Our Lady of Charity School,
370 County Blvd
- Thursday, Nov 16 – 5 to 7 pm – McKellar Park School,
301 Archibald Street N
- Tuesday, Nov 21 – 5 to 7 pm – MacGregor Community Centre,
800 Lakeshore Drive
- Thursday, Nov 30 – 5 to 7 pm – Gorham and Ware School,
2032 Kam Current Road
District of Thunder Bay Communities:
- Tuesday, Oct 24 – 5 to 7 pm – Geraldton Complex
- Wednesday, Oct 25 – 5 to 7 pm – Longlac Sportsplex
- Wednesday, Nov 1 – 5 to 7 pm – St. Edward School – Nipigon
- Thursday, Nov 2 – 5 to 7 pm – Nipigon-Red Rock Highschool
- Tuesday, Nov 7 – 5 to 8 pm – Manitouwadge Community Centre
- Wednesday, Nov 8 – 5 to 7 pm – Marathon High School
- Tuesday, Nov 14 – 5 to 7 pm – Michael King Hall – Terrace Bay
- Wednesday, Nov 15 – 5 to 7 pm – Schreiber Recreation Centre