Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and all Canadians that October is National Flu Awareness Month.
Every winter, almost one-quarter of Canadians are infected with influenza. Thousands become seriously ill and thousands more die from flu-related complications.
Almost anyone who wants to improve his or her chances of having a flu-free winter can benefit from the annual flu shot. The flu shot cannot give a person the flu and side effects are minor.
Seniors, adults and children with chronic diseases, and their caregivers are most at risk. Without vaccination, they may face the possibility of serious or even fatal consequences should they get the flu. A yearly vaccination is the only preventive measure that has been proven to reduce the mortality rate from influenza.
I encourage all Canadians at risk to protect themselves and others. Flu shots are the best way to do so.