Get vaccinated and protect yourself and others from the flu

MANITOULIN—Flu season is here and various clinics and pharmacies across Manitoulin are once again offering the influenza vaccine free of charge.

“Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu,” states a press release from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. “Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.”

“Getting the flu vaccine plays an important role in not only your health, but those around you,” explained Manitoulin Health Centre Chief of Staff Dr. Stephen Cooper. “The people who die from the flu are the vulnerable, the elderly and children. The flu shot protects your family and friends. In the wintertime people are indoors more and in close proximity to each other, which puts individuals at a higher risk of getting sick. If you are sick you should stay home—prevent the spread of the virus.”

According to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MHLTC), on average in Canada, the chance of developing influenza in any given year is one in six. The flu vaccine is offered for free to all residents of Ontario.

The majority of pharmacies on Manitoulin are offering walk-in clinics during regular business hours, just be sure to bring your health card. The pharmacies offering walk-in flu shots include: Little Current Guardian Pharmacy, Edgewater PharmaChoice, the Manitowaning Guardian Pharmacy, Central Pharmacy in Gore Bay,  Robertson’s IDA Drug Store in Gore Bay and Guardian Mindemoya Medical Pharmacy.

Little Current Guardian is open Mondays to Thursdays 9 am to 5:30 pm, Fridays 9 am to 7 pm and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm.

The Edgewater PharmaChoice is open Mondays to Fridays from 9 am to 5:30 pm, Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm.

Guardian Mindemoya Medical Pharmacy is open Mondays to Thursdays from 9 am to 6 pm, Fridays from 9 am to 7 pm, Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm.

Manitowaning Guardian Pharmacy is open Mondays to Fridays from 9 am to 5:30 pm.

Central Pharmacy is open Mondays to Saturdays from 9 am to 5:30 pm.

Robertson’s IDA Drug Store is open Monday to Saturdays from 9 am to 5:30 pm.

Northeast Manitoulin Family Health Team is holding walk-in flu shot clinics Mondays to Fridays from 1 pm to 3 pm or by appointment. The health team is targeting high risk individuals first, but if a patient is at the clinic for an appointment they will be offered the flu shot.

Manitoulin Central Family Health Team is also hosting clinics but the dates and times were unavailable as of press time  Monday. Please call 705-377-4088 for more information.

Mnaamodzawin will be hosting drop-in flu shot clinics at First Nation health centres across Manitoulin.

There will be clinics at the Sheguiandah Health Centre on Monday, October 30 from 1 to 6 pm and Monday, November 6 from 1 to 3 pm.

Clinics will be held at the Whitefish River Health Centre on Friday, November 3 from 10 am to 3 pm and Wednesday, November 8 from 3 to 6 pm.

Drop by the Aundeck Omni Kaning Health Centre on Wednesday, October 25 from 9 am to 3 pm and Wednesday, November 1 from 9 am to 6 pm.

There will be clinics at the Zhiibaahaasing Health Centre on Thursday, October 26 from 1 to 6 pm and Thursday, November 2 from 11 am to 2 pm.

Lastly, there will be a clinic at the Sheshegwaning Health Centre on Tuesday, October 31 from 11 am to 2 pm and Tuesday, November 7 from 1 to 6 pm.

The Wikwemikong Health Centre will also be hosting clinics, however the dates have not been set yet. Please call 705-859-3164 for more information.

If you are a resident of Ontario not living on Manitoulin, there is an interactive map on Ontario.ca that will show you where you can get immunized in your community.