It’s that time of year again. Flu season.

Influenza, otherwise known as the flu, will be making its rounds over the next few months and it is imperative that everyone gets vaccinated. Not only will it keep you healthy by preparing your body’s immune system to fight the virus, but those with weaker immune systems will be safer.

What is influenza?

This respiratory infection is highly contagious, making vaccines vital to keep everyone healthy. Influenza can come out of nowhere and fully disrupt your life, putting you out of commission anywhere from a couple of days, a week or even longer. 

While your body can recover from the flu on its own, the flu can lead to hospitalization and even death for some. Seniors, young children, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions have weaker immune systems making them more susceptible to the risks of influenza. 

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing and sore throat
  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headaches

Influenza vaccines

Because influenza is a virus, it’s able to adapt and change overtime. This means that our bodies can encounter a slightly different strain of the virus when we come into contact with it every year. You may be thinking, how do we fight a virus that changes each year and is highly contagious? 

That’s where vaccines come in. According to Interior Health, this year’s vaccines protect against these strains:

  • A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus 

Flu vaccines are safe and easy shots that prepare your body’s immune system to fight off specific strains of influenza. To keep everyone healthy and to slow down the spread of the virus, it’s imperative to get your flu shot every year.

To dispel a myth, flu shots do not make you sick. While there can be mild side effects such as soreness at the injection site, a headache and a slight fever that should pass in a day or two, protecting yourself against influenza is safe. The risks of the influenza virus are much more serious than any mild side effects from a flu shot. 

Flu shots available at Lakeside Pharmacy

The flu shot is free for those with health conditions, first responders, healthcare professionals and many others that are in close proximity to high-risk people. To check if you’re eligible for a free flu shot, click here.

At Lakeside Pharmacy, we are committed to helping everyone stay healthy. We are offering flu shots to everyone 5 years or older starting from November 12, 2019 until March 31, 2020. For more information on when you can drop-in for your flu shot during the 2019/2020 flu season, click here.