Still time to get flu shots

·2 min read

There’s still time to get your flu shots.

According to Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, the flu season hasn’t really started yet. He said it’s still beneficial to get your shot while still available and not worry about the vaccine’s myths.

“The more people hear the anti-vaccine conspiracy stuff, the less they’re inclined to believe it because it’s such patent nonsense,” said Colby. “We’ve seen very high demand for flu (vaccines) this year, and we still have a large supply for distribution. Your health-care provider can still provide the flu shot. It’s not too late.”

COVID-19 precautions, such as wearing masks, staying home and washing your hands, can play a role in lowering flu rates.

Colby said the influenza rates, because of the COVID controls, are down in the province of Ontario and locally as well.

“All of these precautions that we’re following will definitely have other positive health consequences. As we’re heading into the traditional influenza season, I think that’s a very good-news story,” said Colby.

Meanwhile, Chatham kent Health Alliance President and CEO Lori Marshall said capacity is at 70 percent, which is lower than the usual 90 to 100 percent during this time of year with the flu season in full swing. She said the reduced occupancy results from some services being intentionally reduced at the end of October, leading up to the launch of the new electronic health records system.

“Some of our reduced occupancies is a result of that very intentional slowdown in services,” said Marshall.

She added fewer flu cases in the area, and fewer visits to the emergency department have also played a large role in an emptier hospital.

Chatham-Kent will remain in the yellow-protect level of the province’s COVID-19 framework next week. However, Lambton will move to yellow from green-prevent, and Windsor-Essex County will move to red-control.

As of Nov. 27, Chatham-Kent has reported a cumulative total of 487 cases.

The number of active cases is down to 18, the fewest since Nov. 9.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News