Preparing for flu season
Carbonear doctor believes almost everyone can benefit from vaccine
Dawe believes people working in hospitals or old age homes should be encouraged to get the shot, not forced.
“Even as a healthy person, I don’t even know if I’d get it if I was working there,” she said. “I know that when I do get sick, I stay away from people.”
Although Peddle recommends everyone get the shot, Dawe feels she’s not sick often, so getting the vaccination isn’t necessary for her.
“I’m not for it, but I’m not against it. But if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” she explained.
Peddle said he issues flu vaccines to people each year who have never received them before, sometimes because they catch the flu the previous year.
But even after recently having pneumonia, which is a complication that can come from the flu virus, Dawe still isn’t interested in the vaccine. She believes her eating habits and lifestyle choices have worked for her so far, so she’ll continue the same path.
“Every one of my meals has a salad in it. I steam all my vegetables. I take probiotics on a regular basis,” she said. “I don’t drink cow’s milk and I don’t eat a whole lot of dairy. I also try not to eat as much meat.”
Dawe catches her own fish, her boyfriend hunts moose and she buys her fruits and vegetables locally.
Getting your vaccine
Traditionally, a person had to visit their doctor to get the vaccine. This year, individual health boards offered public clinics across the province, including Eastern Health and Western Health.
Another new addition to the influenza vaccination program in this province is for trained pharmacists to administer it. Peddle sees no issue with that.
“If it increases the overall level of vaccination, I see no problem,” he said, noting some of his regular patients received their shots from the pharmacists at the pharmacy located next to his office.
There are people that Peddle believes should not get the shot, like those who have had a severe allergic reaction to it in the past. Some with certain allergies can still take it.
“It’s OK to give someone with an egg allergy the vaccine,” he said. “Incidents are extremely low or non-existent.”
The vaccine often comes in a vial, but now is available in single dose syringes. There is also a nasal spray available in some places across Canada called FluMist, but is not publicly funded by all jurisdictions. It is recommended for children, more so that adults.
Flu season is typically between early November and late February in Canada, and vaccinations are available from your healthcare provider and some pharmacies across the province.
For more information on the influenza vaccine, visit http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/naciccni/ or contact your family physician.