SickKids staff and volunteers “take one for the kids” this flu season
Flu season is just around the corner and SickKids’ annual influenza immunization campaign is in full swing. This year, for every staff or volunteer who receives the flu shot, SickKids will provide three essential vaccines to a child in need through UNICEF Canada.
Influenza (the flu) is an acute respiratory infection that poses significant health risks to Canadians, particularly high-risk groups including children, those with underlying medical conditions and older adults. Many hospitalized patients have a weakened response to vaccination and thus their ability to protect themselves is limited. Many patients at SickKids are in these high-risk groups.
“Much has been written about the vaccine’s effectiveness and side-effects. While it is true that protection can vary depending on who is being vaccinated and how well matched the vaccine is with circulating viruses, the fact is the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu. In medicine it is always preferable to prevent an illness rather than waiting until you have to treat it,” says Dr. Upton Allen, Chief of Infectious Diseases at SickKids.
Influenza is NOT the same as a common cold. Symptoms of influenza tends to be greater in severity, which range from high fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, weakness, runny and stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, coughing and chest discomfort.
More information about the flu:
- Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s recent news release: Get your flu shot; get it early
- Be a flu fighter: Toronto Public Health information about how to protect yourself, your friends and family from the flu.