Because there are so many flu strains, scientists have to develop vaccines for the upcoming season according to the most prevalent strains, and sometimes a mismatch renders the products ineffective.
In early October the federal government said some provincial vaccine programs may face delays, due to a supply shortage.
The previous year, there were 46 deaths, 35 ICU admissions and 505 hospitalizations.
Apart from the suffering caused, the flu can also place a tremendous strain on the hospital system, leading to backlogs and longer waits at urgent care centres and emergency rooms, the minister said.
"Having the flu shot reduces both your risk of getting the flu and spreading it to our most vulnerable loved ones who are at high risk of flu-related complications", said Dr. Silvina Mema, Interior Health Medical Health Officer.
Richards said it is common for most people to get a flu shot in October, but they can also do so later. Anyone can get the flu, but it is more unsafe for some people. Getting a flu vaccine every year is the best protection against influenza.
As the fall weather is closing in, so is the flu season, prompting the city's Health Department to urge New Yorkers aged six months and older to get a seasonal flu vaccine.More news: Lack of F1 Mexican GP Hamilton qualifying penalty annoys Verstappen
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Flu season is right around the corner, and the health unit is hoping Canadians will get vaccinated. Some people can not have the flu vaccine. The Division of Health Services compiles this information and shares a weekly report on flu surveillance.
OPH says on top of the flu vaccine people can help prevent the flu by washing hands frequently with soap, using hand sanitizer, and avoiding touching eyes and mouth.
Last season, 208 flu-related deaths were reported, which was down from 391 deaths during the 2017-2018 flue season, according to the department.
The vaccine is generally covered by most insurance.
"Vaccination against flu is particularly important for people over 65 years, pregnant women, those with low immunity, chronic infections and pre-existing diseases, such as diabetes or heart, lung or kidney diseases, who are at a high risk of developing life-threatening complications", Dr Anil Prasad, former professor and head of respiratory virology at V Patel Chest Institute, Delhi, and chairman of Influenza Foundation of India. This helps protect against pneumococcal disease, blood infections and meningitis.
"I have personally seen friends laid up for weeks with the flu because they were very, very ill", he said at this year's flu shot campaign kickoff.
Dr. Dee Hoyano said some long-term care facilities in the region have experienced influenza outbreaks.