Flu Season is Underway: Get Your Flu Shot Now

Manitoba Post StaffNews

WINNIPEG – The province is urging Manitobans to get their flu shot, especially those at increased risk of serious illness from the flu, their caregivers and close family and friends.

The vaccine is available free of charge to all Manitobans aged six months and older.

Despite national delivery delays by the vaccine manufacturers, Manitoba has received 84 per cent of its total allotment to date and is expected to receive its full vaccine allotment in the next couple weeks. Approximately 240,000 doses have been shipped to health-care providers across the province.

Seventeen people with lab-confirmed flu died in Manitoba during last year’s flu season, while another 42 were admitted into intensive care units. In total, there were 228 hospitalizations due to influenza during the 2018-19 season. Comparatively, the 2017-18 season hit 10-year highs, with 46 deaths, 35 ICU admissions and 505 hospitalizations.

A record number of people received flu vaccines last winter in Manitoba, with more than 336,000 doses administered. In total, 23.6 per cent of people with Manitoba health cards received the vaccine.

A special high-dose seasonal flu vaccine is once again available for senior residents of long-term care facilities. The high-dose vaccine may provide better protection for those at increased risk of complications from the flu, potentially reducing the number of outbreaks experienced in long-term care facilities and better protect those at highest risk of complications.