Are you getting your flu shot?

Jocelyn Turner
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Registered public health nurse Samantha McLellan helps protect Giles Beland this year against the flu by getting him his flu shot. Free vaccination clinics will be opening across Cumberland County starting Nov. 1. 

AMHERST – It’s that time a year again: flu season. Nurses across Cumberland County are setting up different flu shot clinics to help get residents vaccinated against the wintertime bug.

“As much as we see more seniors and more children, the middle age, go-to-work-everyday people, seem to think they don’t have to worry about it,” said Ann Keddy, director of public relations, Cumberland Health Authority. “They really do have to worry about it.”

In order to keep the bug from getting high-risk groups sick, everyone should be immunized.

“Personally, I have diabetes,” said Keddy. “So my family should be getting their shots too.”

“Or if you have a new baby at home,” added registered public health nurse Samantha McLellan. “Or if you have an elderly person living in your house, it’s not just enough for them to get it, the entire family should.”

McLellan said by cocooning your family, you’re protecting not only them, but also yourself from suffering through the flu.

By not getting the flu shot, both Keddy and McLellan said there is a greater risk of bringing home the flu to your family. Some at risk individuals are not able to get the flu shot.

“Sometimes, at risk individuals don’t have the immune system that a healthy person does,” said Keddy. “So even if they do get the flu shot, they’re still at risk of getting the flu.”

Keddy said many people shy away from getting the flu shot because they think they will get sick even by getting vaccinated. In order for that to happen, Keddy said the individual would have had to already been infected but not show any symptoms before getting the shot. If an individual decides against getting vaccinated, they are at risk of contract many other illnesses.

“They’re at risk for pneumonia,” said McLellan.

This year, the public is at risk for contracting two different influenza ‘A’s and one influenza ‘B’.  Flu shots are free and are available at different locations throughout the county. McLellan and Keddy both encourage everyone to attend the free clinics or speak with their physician about the flu shot.

Flu Shot Clinics

Nov. 1 – Amherst - Trinity St. Stephens United Church from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Nov. 5 – Springhill – Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Nov. 9 – Advocate – Advocate Fire Hall from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and 2:30 until 4 p.m.

Nov. 14 – Pugwash – St. Thomas More Hall from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and 2:30 until 7 p.m.

Nov. 20 – Oxford – Oxford Lions Hall from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and 2:30 until 7 p.m.

Nov. 22 – River Hebert – Brookside Curling Club – 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. until 4 p.m.

Nov. 26 – Amherst – Trinity St. Stephens United Church from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Nov. 28 – Parrsboro – Parrsboro Fire Hall – 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. 

Organizations: Cumberland Health Authority, Trinity St. Stephens United Church, Brookside Curling Club

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Oxford, River Hebert

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