Return of the Flu Season: Health official encourages vaccination

Return of the Flu Season: Health official encourages vaccination

By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – Flu season is here and the local health unit is urging everyone to get vaccinated during a blitz of free flu immunization clinics throughout the region.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Eastern Ontario Health Unit medical officer of health, says that a flu shot is a safe way to stay healthy.

There are two Cornwall seasonal flu immunization clinics being held at the Civic Complex. On Tuesday, Oct. 22, the public is invited to drop-in from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A second clinic, by appointment only, will be on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

Alexandria, Morrisburg, Russell and several other areas will also offer the vaccine.

“It’s an important way of preventing the virus, particularly for elderly, children, people with medical conditions and special needs,” said Roumeliotis.

He did acknowledge the yearly debate of whether or not the vaccine is a safe way of fighting the virus.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t believe in vaccine,” said Roumeliotis. “A lot of it’s based on myths.”

He said some of the public is suspicious of the vaccine and think it may contain poison or mercury.

“Nothing is without side effects,” said Roumeliotis. “Look at the pros and cons.”

His suggestion is to research reliable sources and get the proper information. University and academic websites, Health Canada and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization were his recommendations for online sources.

Roumeliotis said that there is a positive health spin for all five counties in the EOHU region from the immunization clinics.

“You are indirectly protecting the community,” he said. The more people there are vaccinated, the less the flu virus will circulate.”

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For a full list of immunization clinics, click here

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