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The Prince George Citizen - 2021-11-25

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Time for seniors to get flu shot, COVID booster

SENIORS

CHRISTINE DALGLEISH Citizen staff

As the pandemic continues and flu season is here, it’s even more important for people, especially those most vulnerable, to get their shots and boosters as soon as possible. It’s been more than six months since most people have gotten their double vaccination against the coronavirus and it’s time for those most vulnerable, including seniors, to get the booster. “This year it’s important that everyone get the shots that are available to them and that includes the covid booster shot,” Dr. Rakel Kling, Northern Interior Medical Health Officer, said. “I know for seniors it’s been quite a while since they got their first and second doses of vaccine – I think everyone’s coming up at around the six-month mark and with the current cases of COVID in the north right now it’s just really important to get that booster dose. Every dose of vaccine helps to reduce the burden of covid in our region and making sure that every individual gets their dose makes them stay healthier, helps their family stay healthier and it helps their community over all so it’s very important to get the booster shot at about the six-month mark.” During flu season it’s still very important to get that shot as well, Kling advised. This year getting the flu shot is offered at no cost for everyone who wishes to receive it. “This is a big change from previous years and this change was made to really promote the importance of the influenza vaccine,” Kling said. “We know that covid is circulating in the north and it’s really stressing our healthcare system, so getting your influenza shot is just another step that you can take to make sure that you stay healthy, your family stays healthy and your community stays well, keeping everyone safe and disease free this holiday season.” It’s perfectly safe to get the flu shot and covid vaccine or booster together. “You could get them on the same day just to get it over with,” Kling said. “It won’t change the effectiveness of either vaccine and it won’t change the side effects you get from them either.” Kling advises taking precautions during every respiratory virus season. “Stay at home if you’re feeling unwell, if you’re having really severe symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain or other significant symptoms call 9-1-1 or Northern Health Virtual Clinic,” Kling said. “Get those severe symptoms assessed right away. As we know this year all the covid precautions that we take can help with decreasing the transmission of influenza so stay home when you’re sick, wash your hands often, cough and sneeze into your elbow - all of those things really help decrease transmission not just of covid but also of influenza. To reach the Northern Health Virtual Clinic call 1-844-645-7811. At this time all seniors 70+ are eligible for the covid booster and can call 1-833838-2323 to book an appointment seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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