With all the attention lavished upon the new covid-19 virus by the global community people tend to forget about the influenza virus. Every year it visits us wearing a new disguise and preventing a permanent vaccine requiring a new vaccination every fall.
That is why Dr. Éric Goyer, director of public health for the Laurentians, invited all citizens to get vaccinated against the flu to protect themselves and their loved ones. Since October 5, the seasonal flu vaccination campaign has begun in the Laurentians region.
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Vaccination is the best protection against the complications of influenza which can weaken and cause serious consequences in people at high risk of hospitalization. Considering the recommendations of experts from the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), vaccination is strongly recommended and offered free of charge to people who are more at risk of developing complications. That includes people aged 6 months to 74 years with certain chronic diseases, pregnant women in their 2nd and 3rd trimesters and people aged 75 and over.
To reduce the risk of contamination, vaccination is also offered free of charge to relatives who live under the same roof as a child under 6 months of age or a person at high risk of hospitalization or death as well as to their caregivers as well as healthcare workers.
Vaccination is also free for healthy children aged 6 to 23 months and people aged 60 to 74 in good health. Flu vaccination is available by appointment only. As of now, residents can get an appointment online or by phone but not at the vaccination sites:
Online, residents must go to clicsante.ca: select “Vaccine against the flu/Influenza” and follow the instructions to book their appointment. By phone they must dial 1 888 664-2555 Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Sunday and statutory holidays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
According to the CISSS des Laurentides, several pharmacies in the area also offer flu shots but appointments must be made on clicsante.ca or by contacting the pharmacy directly for more information.
To make access to vaccination possible for everyone, the Laurentides Integrated Health and Social Services Center (CISSS) offers a free shuttle service to people with reduced mobility and/or those with economic constraints in order to escort to vaccination sites. The CISSS des Laurentides in its press release reminds the public that the flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19. For all eligible persons, it is possible to receive the flu, COVID-19 and pneumococcal vaccination at the same time, at the same appointment, by asking the vaccination teams.