Local weather turning colder signals a shift into one of the most dreaded seasons of the year – not winter, but flu season.
Flu vaccines became available in Alberta Oct. 19, and we hope our readers will make the effort to get the shot.
The flu vaccine has the benefit of reducing the chances you'll get sick, but that's not the only reason you should receive one. Health experts urge getting vaccinated to protect people who are especially susceptible to the flu, like babies, young children, the elderly and those with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems. It's not just about you, but also about the people you might come in contact with.
This type of selflessness has already been demonstrated by many people this year, as COVID-19 has forced us to consider not only our own well-being but that of our family, friends, co-workers and the strangers we come in contact with every day.
As our city, province, nation and world continue to battle COVID-19, experts are also encouraging people to get the flu shot in an effort to reduce the burden on our health care system. By taking steps to reduce your risk of coming down with the flu, you free up resources and space at clinics and hospitals for other people – not just those who might contract COVID-19, but anyone else facing a major health issue.
Encouragingly, signs point to an increase in the number of people prepared to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated this year. According to a survey by London Drugs, 67 per cent of Albertans plan to get vaccinated. This is perhaps not surprising, as health concerns have been top of mind for most people in 2020.
We encourage our readers to make an appointment with their doctor or drop in at your local pharmacy. Getting a shot isn't always fun – our staff is among the ranks of people who hate needles – but getting vaccinated is an important way to take care of yourself and your neighbour.