STONY PLAIN, AB, Nov. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, and Dr. Gregory Taylor, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada received their annual flu vaccine and encourage Canadians to protect themselves against this year's seasonal flu by getting the vaccine.
Minister Ambrose received her vaccine at the Westview Health Centre in Stony Plain, Alberta while Dr. Taylor participated in a flu vaccine clinic for employees at the Public Health Agency of Canada in Ottawa.
Minister Ambrose is also participating in Alberta Health Services' Influenza champion campaign. The flu champ campaign gives all Albertans the opportunity to voice their support for immunization through the website albertafluchamps.ca.
To help Canadians manage their vaccination records, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Public Health Association, Immunize Canada and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, created ImmunizeCA, an easy to use, free app that is currently available for download. Through ImmunizeCA, Canadians can easily access their provincial and territorial vaccination schedules, as well as find timely and accurate information on the benefits of vaccination. The app also features a section on seasonal influenza.
Millions of Canadians catch the flu every year. It is estimated that the flu is associated with approximately 12,200 hospitalizations and, on average, 3,500 deaths in Canada each year. The Public Health Agency of Canada encourages everyone over the age of six months, who can get the flu shot, to do so every year as it is the best way to prevent the flu.
- Seasonal flu is highly contagious and can spread rapidly from person to person.
- An additional way to prevent flu from spreading is to clean your hands frequently.
- It's important to get vaccinated against the flu every year.
- After getting a flu vaccine, it takes up to two weeks for the body to build immunity. However, you can still benefit from the vaccine even if you don't get it until after flu season starts.
- All provinces and territories have seasonal flu vaccine programs. Check with your local health authority for details.
"Immunization is one of the most important means of protecting the public's health. This year I am encouraging Canadians to go out and get the flu vaccine to protect not only themselves, but their friends and family too. It's safe, effective and is the best prevention against the flu."
Honourable Rona Ambrose,
Minister of Health
"The flu is highly contagious and can spread rapidly from person to person. Everyone over the age of six months who can get the flu vaccine should do so every year"
Dr. Gregory Taylor
Chief Public Health Officer
Image with caption: "The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, receives her annual flu vaccine at the Westview Health Centre in Stony Plain, Alberta. (CNW Group/Health Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141107_C8172_PHOTO_EN_7692.jpg
Image with caption: "Dr. Gregory Taylor, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada receives his annual flu vaccine at a flu vaccine clinic for employees at the Public Health Agency of Canada. (CNW Group/Health Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141107_C8172_PHOTO_EN_7693.jpg
SOURCE: Health Canada
For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, (613) 957-2983