The flu season officially starts Thursday, December 1, but the virus doesn’t always follow the calendar – five health care facilities within our region experienced flu outbreaks in November alone. To protect our most vulnerable patients from a potentially fatal flu infection, as of December 1, all visitors, doctors and staff, are being asked to have had a flu shot or be wearing a mask while at our sites.
“The flu can be devastating for our patients because many have weakened immune systems and are more susceptible to serious illness,” says VCH’s Medical Health Officer Dr. Meena Dawar. “The best way to protect your loved ones in hospital is to get a flu shot, even if you’re normally a healthy individual. The shot will not only protect you from getting the flu, but also the people around you.”
Flu shots for visitors are free and can be obtained at your family doctor, VCH flu clinics, walk-in clinics or pharmacies. People who haven’t had a flu shot can obtain a mask at a nursing station or outpatient reception desk.
For a list of other people the flu shot is free for, a map of where to get a flu shot, and more visit www.vch.ca/flu
Nurse Anne talks to a woman before giving her a flu shot.