Windsor-Essex health leaders are discouraging residents to get vaccinated after an increase in respiratory illnesses in the region.
The health unit, local hospitals and pharmacists issued a joint statement on Thursday.
“Relative to previous years, the seasonal flu virus is spreading more quickly and aggressively and our COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to lag behind the provincial average. Compounding these factors are systemic pressures that continue to strain our institutional capacity,” said the news release. “As we enter flu season, and continue to experience illness and hospitalization tied to COVID-19, the importance of taking preventative measures against the spread of these illnesses cannot be overstated.”
The health leaders said they are seeing the impact of these illnesses on the local health care system on a daily basis.
“Our teams work extremely hard to care for the sick and protect the health of all – but we need your help,” the statement continued.
Residents are being asked to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations and getting the annual flu shot as simple and effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 and influenza to ensure that emergency services, hospitals, urgent care centers, and other health care organizations continue to be responsive and efficient when you need them.
The flu shot is now available for Ontarians six months and older through pharmacies and healthcare providers. More information on influenza and this vaccine can be found at wechu.org/flu.
For most people over the age of five, this vaccine can be administered at the same time as your next COVID-19 shot. For more information on COVID-19 vaccines or to find a clinic, visit www.wevax.ca.