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No increased flu shot demand, despite influenza-related deaths

File photo of a disposable plastic medical syringe with attached hypodermic needle. GI PHOTO STOCK.

The talk surrounding influenza has gone up after two children died of it recently in Guelph.

But according to one public health official, the demand for the flu shot hasn’t increased.

Kristy Wright is the Manager of Infectious Diseases for the Region of Waterloo Public Health.

She says in Waterloo Region, 14 people have died due to influenza but all of them were over the age of 50 and “predominantly” over 65 years of age.

When it comes to the flu shot, Wright admits it’s not perfect but maintains it is the best defense.

“It’s difficult to make a vaccine like we have with some of our other diseases that’s 100 per cent effective,” she said, “But what we do know is that even if you do get flu vaccine, it’s less likely to prevent complications so we still widely promote the vaccine.”

147-thousand doses of the vaccine have been distributed to local health care providers and Wright says they haven’t been getting calls to distribute more.

Asking around, it seems many people have received the vaccine already.

And one person, who identified himself as a long-time health care provider, agrees it’s tough to make the perfect flu vaccine.

“(This year’s) vaccine is possibly not for exactly the same brand of flu that we’re getting here, but it never is,” he said.

Another, a local church pastor, says he got his shot back in October.

“I still believe in healing,” he said, “But I believe we need to do everything we can to keep our health…and not to give (the flu) to others, that’s a big thing.”

Public health officials say they’re not offering any more extended clinic hours.

But there is still lots of doses available for those who haven’t gotten it as of yet.

If you’re looking to get the shot, you can do so with a family doctor, a walk-in clinic or a pharmacy.