January 14, 2010
Media Release

The Regional Municipality of York to begin offering seasonal influenza vaccinations

H1N1 flu vaccinations also remain available
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NEWMARKET -The Regional Municipality of York is offering seasonal influenza vaccinations to all residents over the age of six months, beginning Saturday, January 16th.
“We know that this flu season is different,” said Dr. Karim Kurji, York Region’s Medical Officer of Health.  “Seasonal and H1N1 flu viruses are the two main strains of influenza circulating in our community this year and I encourage everyone to be immunized against both.”
Health Canada and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) encourage all healthy adults and children over the age of six months to get a seasonal flu shot every year.
There are 14 community seasonal influenza immunization clinics scheduled from Saturday, January 16th until Saturday, February 6th.  Residents can also get their seasonal flu shot from their physician or a participating workplace.
The seasonal flu vaccine does NOT protect you from the H1N1 flu virus.  The H1N1 flu vaccine is available to all York Region residents through the following options:

• Family health care providers:  For residents who do not have a family physician or whose family physician is not providing the H1N1 flu vaccine, a list of local physicians who can provide it to you is available at www.york.ca/flu  A health card is required when receiving the H1N1 flu vaccine from a physician.

• Seasonal Influenza Community Clinics:  Only unadjuvanted H1N1 flu vaccine is available at seasonal influenza Community Clinics.  Unadjuvanted H1N1 flu vaccine is recommended for pregnant women and people between the ages of 10 and 64 years who do not have any chronic health conditions.

• York Region Monthly Community Immunization Clinics:  York Region public health runs monthly immunization clinics for students who need to catch up on their routine immunizations.  There are five locations across York Region.  Clinic times and locations are available at www.york.ca/flu   Appointments are not necessary for routine immunizations, however, residents are encouraged to make an appointment for the H1N1 flu vaccine.  Appointments can be made by calling York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.
Both the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 flu vaccine can be administered at the same time.
Seasonal influenza vaccine has been shown to prevent illness in approximately 70 to 90-per cent of healthy children and adults.  The flu is much worse than a cold.  Even healthy young people can become very sick and develop serious complications. 
Influenza-like illnesses are caused by viruses that are easy to catch and easy to spread.  The flu season generally runs from mid November to April each year.  Flu symptoms include headache, muscle ache, cough, sore throat, fever, fatigue and weakness. 
The flu can lead to more serious illnesses which may result in hospitalization or even death.  A flu shot coupled with good infection and prevention practices, such as proper and frequent hand washing and staying home from work/school when you are sick, can minimize the risk of illness for residents and their families this flu season.
For more information on the Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
Phone: 905 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours Cell: 905 716-9753
Email: Jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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