News Release: October 31, 2013
City of Toronto Public Health launches flu clinics
Free flu shots are now available at Toronto Public Health (TPH) clinics. A total of 29 clinics will operate at nine locations across the city between October 31, 2013 and January 9, 2014. TPH will host a media launch of the flu clinics tomorrow.
"Anyone can get the flu. One of the best ways to avoid getting the flu is to get the annual vaccine from one of our clinics, your family physician or a participating pharmacy," said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health. "The flu shot is a safe and effective way to protect you and reduce the risk of spreading the virus to loved ones and co-workers."
The flu vaccine is free for people six months and older who live, work or attend school in Ontario. Each year in Canada, approximately 20,000 people are hospitalized and 4,000 die due to influenza and its complications. Hospitalization rates are highest for children under five years of age and adults over 65 years of age.
Symptoms include sudden onset of headache, chills, cough, fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches, fatigue, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and throat irritation. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also occur, especially in children.
Most people will recover within a week to 10 days, but some people are at greater risk of complications, such as worsening of underlying medical conditions, pneumonia and sometimes death. More information is available at http://bit.ly/u1XRfr.
As well as getting the flu shot, TPH also recommends frequent and thorough hand washing, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve and staying at home when you are feeling ill. For the full flu vaccination clinic schedule please call 416-338-7600 or visit http://bit.ly/1huECvB.
Media Availability/Photo Opportunity
Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21 St. Paul's), Chair of the Board of Health, and Dr. McKeown will be available onsite at the Atrium clinic (595 Bay St., main floor, street level, west end,) getting the flu shot and also available for media interviews on Friday, November 1 between 11:30 a.m. and noon.
Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- 30 -
Media contact: Kris Scheuer, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-8020, firstname.lastname@example.org