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The Regional Municipality of Durham printPrinter Friendly Version

News Release

Protect your loved ones this season by getting the annual flu shot

WHITBY, ON October 20, 2015 - Durham Region Health Department will officially launch its annual flu vaccination campaign on Oct. 26 and is reminding area residents of the importance of getting the flu shot.

The flu is a serious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Every year, 10 to 20 per cent of Canadians get sick with the flu. It’s estimated that 12,200 Canadians are hospitalized and about 3,500 die as a result of the flu each year.

This year, quadrivalent flu vaccines are also publicly-funded for children and adolescents aged six months to 17 years-old. Quadrivalent flu vaccines offer protection against an extra B-strain of the flu virus that affects children and adolescents more frequently than adults. There are two types of quadrivalent flu vaccines - the type given by injection and FluMist® Quadrivalent, which is given by nasal spray. FluMist® Quadrivalent is available for children and adolescents two to 17 years-old. Residents are encouraged to speak with their health care provider for more information.

“For the average healthy person, influenza will last for about seven to 10 days and may cause fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and pains, and a variety of other unpleasant symptoms,” explained Ashley Wilson, a public health nurse with the Health Department. “However, some individuals are more vulnerable and are at a greater risk of severe complications from the flu.”

Individuals who are considered at high risk of complications include: young children, adults over 65, adults in long-term care homes, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses such as heart, lung, kidney, liver, blood or metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, or weakened immune systems. 

The flu spreads easily through coughing, sneezing and direct contact with unwashed hands, surfaces, or objects that have been in contact with the flu virus. If infected with the flu, it can be transmitted to others a day before symptoms appear. Individuals with the flu are also contagious for seven days or longer after their symptoms have resolved.

“The flu shot is the most effective way to prevent the spread of the flu,” added Ms. Wilson. “By getting the flu shot you’re not just protecting yourself, you’re protecting those around you, including those who are most vulnerable to the flu. The flu vaccine is safe and is recommended for all Canadians six months of age and older.”

The flu vaccine will be widely available throughout Durham Region through local health care providers. Participating pharmacies will also offer the flu shot to anyone over the age of five. To find flu shot clinics in Durham Region, visit For more information about the flu, visit or call the Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729.

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Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

Glendene Collins - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999 or

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

For more information, please contact Health Department.