Knock out the flu! Get your flu shot!

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This is a flu season unlike any other. Getting the vaccine this year is more important than ever to help stop the spread of the influenza virus and protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community. The flu vaccine has been proven to help reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death. Avoiding the flu will also reduce the burden on our health care system that is still battling COVID-19.

Additionally, it has been strongly recommended by leading physicians and professional organizations that health care workers get the shot. And Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) is doing its part by encouraging our staff, physicians and volunteers to get their flu shot and help knock out the flu. On October 14, the hospital launched its annual flu shot campaign. MSH’s goal is to have all its staff adopt the title of ‘flu fighter’ by getting their shot.

But it’s just as important for our patients, their families and our community members to get the shot. For a list of where you can get your flu shot and become a flu fighter visit the Ontario flu shot clinic page.

Alternate options for flu clinics: Markham Stouffville Urgent Care Centre, Stouffville Medical Centre

More ways you can fight the flu:

  • Wash your hands often – use soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze – No tissue? Do the ‘sleeve sneeze’.
  • Don't touch your face – the flu virus can enter your body through your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Stay at home when you're sick – viruses spread more easily in group settings.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and shared items – viruses can live up to 48 hours on hard surfaces like countertops, door handles, computer keyboards and phones.

Your common flu misconceptions debunked:

Myth: You can get influenza from the vaccine
Fact: You cannot get influenza from the vaccine; it is actually made up of components of the virus or inactivated viruses

Myth: The vaccine weakens your immune system
Fact: Due to the change in influenza virus strains, you would need to get the immunization to be protected each year. People who get the vaccine are better protected each year compared to those who remain unimmunized.

Myth: The vaccine does not work because I still get the influenza or the flu
Fact: You may have flu like symptoms but it’s not the influenza that you actually have

Myth: Can being vaccinated twice provide added immunity
Fact: Studies have shown that there is no benefit from getting more than one dose of the vaccine during the same influenza season