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A flu shot blitz is taking place in Hay River.

A special flu shot clinic will be held – by appointment only – at the old medical clinic building from Nov. 2 to Nov. 6. Shots were offered last week as well.

Health officials are saying that it’s more important than ever – in this time of Covid-19 – to get the flu shot.

Of course, Covid-19 is not a type of flu. The coronavirus is a different and much more dangerous virus.

However, some of the symptoms of the flu and Covid-19 are similar. So getting the flu shot will help people know whether they might have Covid-19 if they happen to develop those symptoms.

It would be a good idea for everyone to consider getting the flu shot this year. Some people get the flu shot every year, some people never get the flu shot.

But this is not an ordinary year.

Like wearing a facemask and keeping physical distance, the flu shot would be a good way to contribute to the fight against Covid-19.

It is all the more important as the number of cases are starting to rise in southern Canada and even at a more alarming rate in the United States. It appears to be the surge of cases predicted for the fall and winter.

And a few more cases have appeared in the NWT.

That has not yet happened in Hay River, but it may just be a matter of time. Residents can hope that Covid-19 never appears in the community, but it is best to behave like it will.

That will make the town as prepared as possible for if and when it does show up.

Getting the flu shot is one more thing that people can do to prepare.

In previous years, the special flu shot clinic was held on one day as part of an Adult Health Fair in November. Of course, the health fair is not happening this year because of Covid-19.

The fact that the Hay River clinic is being held over two weeks – as opposed to just one day – is a testament to the importance being placed on getting the flu shot this year.

As they do every year, nurses from the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority also spent last week going out into the community to offer the flu shot to specific groups, such as teachers, healthcare workers, seniors and high-risk people.

There will also be a flu shot clinic on Nov. 10 in Enterprise.

So there will be plenty of opportunities for everyone in the Hay River area to get the flu shot.

Perhaps it would be best to let Dr. Kami Kandola, the chief public health officer for the NWT, make the closing argument for the flu shot.

The symptoms of Covid-19 and the symptoms of the flu are similar, Kandola said earlier this month. “So to limit the strain on the healthcare system and limit your anxiety developing symptoms, not knowing if it’s Covid or flu, better to proactively get your flu shot.”

That sums it up quite nicely.

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Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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