WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government is encouraging residents to get their flu shot through its annual campaign.

On Friday, Health Minister Audrey Gordon launched this year’s flu vaccination campaign, which has been redesigned and merged with the #ProtectMB website to include all vaccinations.

The minister encouraged Manitobans to take part in winter wellness by staying active, eating healthy, reducing stress, and getting the vaccine.

“Overall health and wellness have never been more important than it is right now,” Gordon said.

“Getting the flu vaccine is the most effective way Manitobans can protect themselves and each other from the flu. It means fewer people getting sick. Fewer people who miss work or school. And fewer people who need to be treated in a hospital.”

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, noted that when Manitobans stay healthy, cover their coughs, stay home when sick, and get the flu shot, they are reducing the strain on the health-care system.

He added that it is important for all eligible Manitobans six months of age and older to get immunized against influenza as soon as the vaccine becomes available to them.

“The seasonal flu vaccine is another way to help stay healthy this winter,” Roussin said.

“And, of course, that helps us, it helps the people around us, the people we care about. It helps other Manitobans.”

THE CAMPAIGN

Manitoba’s 2021 flu vaccination campaign is aimed at those who are most vulnerable and their caregivers. This includes specific outreach to the health-care sector and public service.

The province provides a high-dose inactivated influenza vaccine (fluzone high dose) to Manitobans aged 65 and older who meet the following requirements:

  • Those who live in long-term care facilities, including chronic-care residents;
  • Those who live in supportive and assisted-living housing;
  • Clients in interim or transitional care beds; respite care clients; and new, unimmunized residents admitted to a long-term care facility during flu season;
  • People in provincial correctional facilities, including those who are newly incarcerated or transferred from other correctional facilities;
  • People receiving home care while on a waiting list for admission to a long-term care facility;
  • Those living on a First Nation, or remote or isolated community; and
  • Those living north of the 53rd parallel of latitude.

The province notes that the flu shot is available at public health offices, nursing stations, doctors’ offices, community clinics, and access centres.

Pharmacists can also provide the shot to anyone over the age of seven.

The Pneu-P-23 vaccine, which protects against pneumococcal disease, is offered free of charge to seniors anywhere flu vaccines are offered and can be administered at the same time.

Manitoba has started to ship vaccines to providers. It expects to receive the full provincial allotment over the next few weeks.

Anyone interested in getting their flu shot should contact providers first to ensure it is available.

Manitobans can find locations and book their flu shots online or by calling 1-844-626-8222. Many locations also accept walk-ins.