The 2016-2017 seasonal influenza vaccine is available at all London Drugs locations, offering a quick and convenient way for Canadians to receive their annual flu shot. Patients can now book appointments online at select locations or by calling the pharmacy. All locations also offer vaccinations on a walk-in basis when London Drugs Certified Injection Pharmacists are on staff.
Gianni Del Negro, Pharmacy Manager at London Drugs, says he is expecting to see an increase in the demand for pharmacy-provided influenza vaccinations again this year. Now more than ever, busy Canadian families are taking advantage of pharmacies as an accessible and convenient alternative to public flu clinics, where they may have experienced long lines and wait times in previous years.
“People want to protect themselves and their families against the flu but they want to come in and get it done at a time that suits them at a location close and convenient for them. Pharmacies have long hours, there are many locations and it’s a very simple process to protect yourself, and others, against influenza,” he says.
This year’s seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains and is recommended for all individuals aged 6 months and older. London Drugs Certified Injection Pharmacists can provide the flu shot vaccination to adults as well as children 9 years old and over in Alberta and Saskatchewan, to children 7 years old and over in Manitoba and to children 5 years old and over in British Columbia.
Influenza spreads easily from one person to another through coughing, sneezing or by touching objects contaminated with the flu virus and then touching the mouth, eyes or nose. Symptoms typically include the sudden onset of high fever, chills, sore throat, cough and myalgia, and influenza generally occurs each year in the late fall and winter months.
“Being proactive and prepared is the key to prevention. By getting the vaccination early in the season, as well as taking some simple and healthy preventative actions, you not only protect yourself, but you protect others because you are less likely to spread the flu,” says Del Negro.