By Anastasia Coulson-Gagnon
It is time for students to roll up their sleeves.
Humber College is having a free flu shot clinic at its Lakeshore campus on Thursday, Nov. 8 and Friday, Nov. 9. The clinic will run from 9 a.m . until 3 p.m. both days and is expected to fill up quickly. The clinic is in Rooms 201 and 204 in the Welcome Centre.
“It’s recommended for everyone to get a flu shot because right now we come across many different illnesses,” says pharmacist Jaimin Patel, who works at the Shoppers Drug Mart on Lakeshore.
“Especially with back to school, you come across so many different people and germs. The best way is to protect yourself before you get sick.”
Patel says he is confident the updated vaccination will be effective.
This year’s trivalent flu shot vaccination has been upgraded to match the current circulating viruses. It includes protection against two influenza A strains and one influenza B strain.
“Every year doctors come up with a certain extent of how the vaccination is going to work,” Patel says. “Last year we had a couple of different strains and different brands but this year we just have the three different categories. One is for kids, one is for adults and one is for individuals aged 65 and up.”
This year, Fluzone HD (High-Dose) has been introduced for individuals over the age of 65. This specific vaccination includes protection against the same strains as the trivalent vaccine but includes an extra influenza B strain.
“Fluzone HD is 4x more potent and is more effective,” Patel says. “But, it is only recommended for seniors and is only available from certain doctors and clinics.”
The Center for Disease Control website says that Fluzone HD is “intended to give older people a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against flu.”
With flu shot vaccinations only beginning this week, pharmacies are already becoming crowded.
Pharmacist Alex Troy, who works at Rexall Pharmacy on Lakeshore, says this year’s vaccine is popular. “We’ve been getting a lot of people,” Troy says “It’s been quite a mix of older and younger people and we only distribute one type of flu shot here.”
For more information on this year’s flu shot vaccination is available at Ontario.ca to help better understand what vaccination is right for you.