Flu season 2020/2021 – Protect yourself, protect others

October 14, 2020 – Defence Stories

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The flu vaccine is also strongly recommended for all civilian employees, Class A and Class B reservists (<180 days) and their families.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on people and economies around the globe. With flu season fast approaching, there is growing concern among health professionals of a “twindemic” – an overlap of the annual flu season and a resurgence of COVID-19 cases this fall and winter. In light of COVID-19 precautions, any illness—including influenza—could lead to exclusions from work, school, and public spaces. In addition, if someone with COVID-19 also gets the flu, they are more likely to spread infection through flu symptoms like coughing and sneezing. So stay home if sick!

The good news is that by getting your annual flu vaccine this year, you help in the fight against COVID-19 by safeguarding your community and the health care system.

Not only will the flu shot help to keep you and your family healthy, it will reduce the burden on our health care system by helping to ensure hospitals are not caring for flu and COVID-19 patients at the same time. By getting vaccinated and continuing public health measures, such as frequent hand washing, physical distancing, wearing a mask, and following cough and sneeze etiquette, we can greatly reduce the chances of a “twindemic” occurring this fall and winter.

It’s important to know that, unlike the common cold, the flu can develop into more serious health problems such as pneumonia, or make pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, or uncontrolled diabetes, worse. The benefits of the annual flu vaccine are numerous – not only is it a safe and effective way to protect yourself and those around you from contracting the flu, the flu shot will reduce the severity of your symptoms if you do get it. The flu shot is safe and severe reactions from it are very rare: most people have no adverse reaction after receiving their annual flu vaccine.

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Regular Force members and full-time Reservists (>180 days): getting your seasonal influenza vaccine is convenient and easy—simply attend a flu shot clinic through Canadian Forces Health Services.

Regular Force members and full-time Reservists (>180 days): getting your seasonal influenza vaccine is convenient and easy—simply attend a flu shot clinic through Canadian Forces Health Services. Please rest assured that clinics will adhere to COVID-19 public health measures when administering flu vaccines. More information about flu shot clinics will follow in the upcoming weeks from your local Canadian Forces Health Centre.

The flu vaccine is also strongly recommended for all civilian employees, Class A and Class B reservists (<180 days) and their families, who can access the flu vaccine through their provincial health care providers. National Defence is also exploring offering the flu vaccine for civilian employees currently working in the NCR and at bases and wings. Stay tuned for more information on this in the coming weeks.

Be a flu fighter—protect yourself, protect others!

For more information, please visit the Government of Canada’s Flu (Influenza): Get your flu shot web page.

 

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