H1N1 Flu and Snowbirds

Winter 2009 CSANews Issue 73  |  Posted date : Dec 12, 2009.Back to list

Anyone following the press knows that the information from public health authorities seems to change every few days. Nevertheless, there are some important tips that remain fairly stable and relate particularly to those who are away from home for the winter. For many snowbirds who had left Canada before mid-November, the only flu shot that was available for seniors was the seasonal flu shot. If you did not receive that immunization before leaving, be sure to get it while away. There is much evidence to suggest that the risk of seasonal flu is greater for seniors than is H1N1. And for those who did not get the H1N1 flu shot in Canada, you should get it as soon as it is available at your destination.

In the U.S., county and city health departments are currently administering the vaccine to high-risk groups. Check with them regarding when it will be available to those over 65. Health departments are administering the vaccine free to all. Private clinics and physicians will likely charge the public and travel health insurance does not cover this fee. Nevertheless, those who come down with flu and need to access health-care services will be covered.

Both the seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 vaccine have proven to be safe and effective. For your health and those around you, protect yourself. Be sure to get your shots!