State Govt to spend $1M on free kids' flu vaccines

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Interior Health advises that the flu shot is a safe and effective way to help protect the public, especially children, pregnant women, seniors, people with chronic illnesses, and others who are most at risk from influenza and its complications. When the vaccine is a good match, it can reduce the risk of getting the flu by 40 to 60 per cent. "The sooner you're vaccinated, the sooner you're protected - and you'll stay protected throughout the flu season".

"While there have been reports nationally of influenza H3N2 strains causing illness that are derived from the vaccine strain, this is just one of multiple influenza viruses seen so far this season", Murray said.

Flu season has arrived, so Toronto's St. Joseph's Health Centre will host a free flu shot clinic. During the 2016-17 flu season, more than 100 children in the US died as a result of the flu, and thousands more were hospitalized for severe illness or complications from the virus.

The New Mexico Department of Health said a A 90-year-old woman is believed to be the first flu related death of the season.

Past year saw an increase in influenza outbreaks at local hospitals, long term care homes and retirement homes with 24 confirmed out breaks.

Locally, flu activity this year has been described as sporadic, however, state epidemiologist Zack Moore, MD, says the number of cases should begin to increase in the coming weeks. "Getting a flu shot is quick, easy, and not only protects you, but also those around you". It's recommended that you wash often with soap and water. Germs spread this way. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

The flu typically starts with high fever, headaches and muscle pain, progressing to sore throat and cough, usually lasting around seven days.

"I would ask every parent in Ipswich who has a child who will be under five to make a note in their calendar to access this free vaccine for their child next year ahead of the 2018 flu season".

Local pharmacies and physician offices are offering the flu vaccination daily.

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