Ontarians Encouraged to Get a Flu Shot

    Getting a Flu Shot Can Protect You and Those Around You

    TORONTO, Nov. 16 /CNW/ - Flu season has arrived and all Ontarians are
urged to get a flu shot to protect themselves and those around them Ontario's
Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams said today.
    "This is a proven, safe, effective and free way to promote good health
and prevent illness," said Williams. "It is important to get the flu shot to
protect not just your own health, but also those around you who may be more
    Immunization is especially important for those at high risk of
complications from influenza such as young children, pregnant women, people
with chronic health conditions and the elderly. It is also important for
healthcare workers, family members and others in close contact with high-risk
people to get the flu shot. If people in high-risk groups do get sick with
influenza, the immunity provided by the vaccine can reduce the severity of the
illness and possibly save lives.
    It is also important to wash your hands often and thoroughly. Hand
washing, when done correctly, is the single most effective way to prevent the
spread of infectious diseases. An effective hand washing method is easy to
learn and can significantly reduce the spread of infectious diseases, such as
influenza, among both children and adults.
    Ontario's Universal Influenza Immunization Program - the first of its
kind in North America - is in its eighth year. Flu shots are free to anyone
aged six months or older who lives, works or attends school in Ontario. They
are available across the province through doctors' offices, employer-sponsored
clinics, public health units, local pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care
homes, Community Health Centres and Community Care Access Centres.
    Recent data from Statistics Canada shows that thanks to Ontario's
universal immunization program, this province has the highest rate of flu
vaccine uptake at 42 per cent, for persons aged 12 years of age and older.
    Visit www.gettheflushot.ca for more information on the flu shot and
details on where to find a flu immunization clinic in your area.

    This news release, along with other media materials, such as matte
stories and audio clips, on other subjects, are available on our website at:
http://www.health.gov.on.ca under the News Media section.
    For more information on achievements in health care, visit:

    Disponible en français.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Laurel Ostfield, Minister's
Office, (416) 212-4048; David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,
(416) 314-6197; Members of the general public: (416) 327-4327, or

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