a peek inside the fishbowl

06 Dec, 2018

Easiest flu shot ever?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

Is it just me, or is getting your flu shot is a heck of a lot easier now that you can get it done at your local pharmacy? No more calling and booking appointments, no more driving to the doctor’s, no more bad music in the waiting room. All I need to do is walk down the street to Shopper’s Drug Mart, fill out a form, flash my health card, wait until the pharmacist is free (it’s never been more than five minutes), and roll up my sleeve. Plus, there’s this:

Get your flu shot!

Does it hurt to get the flu shot?

No more than any other vaccination! In other words, it hurts a tiny bit but it’s over quickly. I hate getting shots but I do it because I know it’s a smart thing to do, not just for my own health, but to protect those around me (including a few senior citizens.) This part of the deal is nothing to sneeze at. It’s your call if you don’t care about being knocked out by the flu, but there are other people to think about. If you grocery shop, take the bus, work outside the home, eat in restaurants, go to the library…. basically, SEE PEOPLE, TOUCH THINGS, or BREATHE, you can infect anyone around you.

According to the CBC, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) says the following people are at high-risk of influenza-related complications or hospitalization:

  • Pregnant women;
  • Adults and children with chronic health conditions;
  • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities;
  • People 65 years of age and older;
  • Children younger than 60 months of age;
  • Indigenous peoples.

That’s not exactly a short list. Getting the flu isn’t just an extended rest on the couch and a Netflix binge. According to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, approximately 3,500 people die of influenza-related issues each year in Canada. In Ontario, there are approximately 1,365 influenza-associated deaths per year in Ontario.

If you want to take a deep dive into the numbers, you can. Ottawa Public Health publishes up to date reports that highlight all kinds of information, including the number of laboratory-confirmed cases, flu shots delivered year-over-year, dominant strains and their peak “activity periods,” and more. (Go to this page and scroll down for the reports.)

Did you get your flu shot this year? Will you? Why or why not? I’d love to hear about your experience.

1 Response to "Easiest flu shot ever?"

1 | K. Taggart

December 7th, 2018 at 2:41 pm


Yes! My family and I all get the flu shot every year. Why? Because we don’t want the flu. We also don’t want people we hang out with to get the flu. Two of my children have a hard time with actually getting the injection, but they both understand the need for it. Everyone gets chocolate or candy afterwards, which is another reason why getting it at the pharmacy is so darn convenient.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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