As the temperature lowers and the leaves begin to change colour, we know that fall is well on its way, along with cold and flu season. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more important that you take the necessary steps to keep your family and yourself healthy during cold and flu season. One step that you can take is scheduling an appointment for a flu shot. In this article, we will take a closer look at why you should get the flu shot, the importance of booking an appointment in advance and where you can get a flu shot.
Your Local PharmaChoice Pharmacy
Many PharmaChoice pharmacies offer the flu shot each year. The province and the individual pharmacy location can factor if flu shots are offered and when they are available. Contact your nearest PharmaChoice pharmacy to find out if the flu shot is being offered at your preferred location. We suggest calling your local pharmacy to see if the influenza vaccine is offered, and if so, to schedule an appointment. If your local pharmacy does not offer flu shots or pharmacies in your province of residence are not permitted to offer them, you may need to schedule an appointment with your physician.
Why Get the Flu Shot?
Many believe that getting the flu, to put it simply, isn’t a big deal. The assumption being that they might get sick for a few days and then return to their regularly scheduled programming. Unfortunately for some, this is not the case. The flu vaccine can help to protect you from getting very sick, reduce the severity of your symptoms and reduce the risk of flu-related complications to your health.
The 2020-2021 flu vaccine can help to protect against several strains, including the A and B viruses. The flu shot is recommended for everyone who is six months and older in Canada. It can offer defence against the flu virus and save lives by:
- Protecting you if you are exposed to the virus
- Preventing you from experiencing stronger flu-like symptoms
- Protecting those close to you, as you are less likely to spread to others
Some people are at a higher risk of complications from the flu than others. This can include those with pre-existing health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease, as well as those aged 65 years and older, living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, children under the age of five, pregnant women, and indigenous peoples. If you, or someone that you are close to, falls under the category of high-risk, getting an annual flu shot is of even more importance.
Booking Your Flu Shot in Advance
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the policies and processes within our PharmaChoice pharmacies have been adjusted for the safety of the pharmacy team, customers and patients. You are required to schedule a flu shot appointment ahead of time to help reduce crowding within the pharmacy or waiting room. This is especially important as there is an increased demand from patients for influenza immunizations.
It’s important to plan ahead for your flu shot appointment:
- Prior to your appointment, check for symptoms of COVID-19
- Arrive on time
- Wear loose clothing with short sleeves
- Practice safe hygiene
- Wear a mask
- Follow the check-in and waiting area procedures, which may include waiting in a designated area, outside or even in your vehicle
- Follow all directional and physical distancing signage
If you need to change or cancel your scheduled appointment or immunization time, contact your pharmacy ahead of time. If you feel unwell, or suspect symptoms of COVID-19, please cancel your flu shot appointment. For more information or to book your flu shot appointment, contact your local PharmaChoice pharmacy today.