A rise in the number of patients attending Winnipeg hospitals for treatment of flu-like symptoms has prompted the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to postpone elective and non-emergency surgeries scheduled for this week.
“We are dealing with a particularly tough flu season which has resulted in very busy emergency departments and a resulting increase in demand for in-patient beds,” said Dr. Bruce Roe, vice-president and chief medical officer at the WRHA.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is preparing to open 12 public flu shot clinics across the city on Wednesday.
The annual flu vaccine is recommended for pregnant women, children between six months and five-years-old, seniors over the age of 65, those with a chronic illness, health-care workers or first responders, individuals of aboriginal ancestry, and people who are severely overweight or obese.
Flu clinics across the city will begin administering the annual influenza vaccine to the public on Tuesday.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is running 12 clinics from October 22 to Saturday, October 26.
“It’s important to get the flu shot every year,” Health Minister Erin Selby said. “Each flu season is unique and getting the free shot can help keep your family and those you care about healthy this winter.”
Manitobans are encouraged to roll up their sleeves and get a flu shot.
The annual influenza immunization program launched province-wide Tuesday. Anyone in close contact with individuals at increased risk for influenza-related complications, such as health-care workers, first responders and household contacts and caregivers, are a focus for influenza immunization.
Health Minister Theresa Oswald received a shot during a photo-op at a QuickCare clinic in Winnipeg this morning.
“When people get the shot they are protecting themselves as well as their friends and families who might be at an increased risk of serious illness,” Oswald said. “The flu shot is available at no charge to all Manitobans and can help people stay well during the flu season.”
Specific clinic dates and locations are available at Manitoba.ca/flu and by calling Health Links-Info Santé at (204) 788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257.
Annual flu shot clinics will begin running in less than a week throughout Winnipeg.
From October 16-20, the public can attend one of 12 clinics and receive their annual influenza vaccine.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is staffing the city-wide clinics (see above map), while regional health authorities facilitate their own vaccinations. Details on rural clinics can be found at gov.mb.ca.
Further information on the seasonal flu or pneumococcal immunization can be found by calling Health Links-Info Santé at (204) 788-8200 in Winnipeg or toll-free 1-888-315-9257.