Flu shots encouraged as H1N1 arrives in Quebec

Flu season is here and Quebec’s health minister is encouraging those considered at higher risk of complications from the virus to get vaccinated. These include children aged 6 to 23 months old, individuals with certain chronic illnesses such as asthma, pregnant women at any stage of their pregnancy, but particularly women in their second or third trimester and people aged 60 and over. Forty cases of the H1N1 strain of influenza were reported in the Eastern Townships already and flu season is expected to hit its peak at the end of January or early February. H1N1 is covered in this year’s flu vaccine. To find out where to get the vaccine in your area, click here

If your child has a fear of needles, a new vaccine called Flumist®, administered by a nasal spray, is another available option.This vaccine is available from your local health practitioner or pharmacy, but is not subsidized by the government unless your child suffers from particular chronic conditions.

If you or a loved one develops symptoms of the flu:

  • First call Info-Santé at 8-1-1 to ask about your or your family member’s symptoms and find out how severe they are. Info-Santé nurses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to give you health advice and tell you when you should see a doctor or other health professional.
  • Should a consultation with a doctor be necessary, head to a network clinic. About thirty network clinics are available on the island of Montreal. They are open every day of the year, even holidays (12 hours during week days and 8 hours on weekends and holidays). These clinics offer quick access to X-ray services and blood tests or other tests.
  • Should you be in an emergency situation, don't hesitate to go to an emergency room, while keeping in mind that the most urgent cases will be treated first.

How to find more information if you need it:

If you have more questions or concerns about where to seek care over the holidays, visit the following websites: