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Mo On The Go

Flu Vaccinations: Information for Parents in Ontario

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As the weather turns from warm and sunny to dark and chilly, cold and flu bugs rear their ugly heads invading those precious little bodies you want to protect. The question on a lot of parent's minds right now: should I vaccinate my child with the flu vaccine? We sat down with Dr. Robin Williams, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario, to talk about why she thinks each member of your family should get the vaccine.

What are the benefits of flu vaccination and why is this something my child should receive?

Vaccination is a tool, and it is the strongest public health tool we've got in fighting the flu war. Young children are particularly vulnerable to catching the flu virus, which can be quite serious, requiring hospitalization for some.

Who is most at risk?

We recommend the flu vaccine for everyone, but our high risk groups in particular. These include children who are under the age of 3 and pregnant women. This population may not have as strong an immune system. We also recommend the vaccine to those with chronic disease, individuals over 65 (and in particular grandparents in contact with young children). We want to create circles of protection around the sick and vulnerable. It is also recommended for all health care and daycare workers.

Why is early flu vaccination important? Should I wait?

The vaccine is now available in Ontario and we strongly recommend that you get it. If you wait, it can suddenly be too late. We can't predict when the virus will hit. Getting it early means supplies are good across the country. In Ontario, you can get a vaccine at some pharmacists. It is very accessbile for busy families.

How can parents support children and practitioners in having the most positive flu vaccination experience?

Prepare kids for what they can expect when they get the vaccine. There is a great video from Sick Kids Hospital on how to do this using proven ways to support children to create as painfree an experience as possible. Watch the video here.

For more information on the vaccination program in Ontario, click here.

 

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