Nfld. & Labrador

6 flu-related deaths so far this season, as Eastern Health adds 2 more clinics

"The only true way to protect ourselves against influenza is to get vaccinated," says public health nurse Nicolle Garrett.

Number of deaths in N.L. down from 39 last year

Eastern Health added two more flu shot clinics this week to meet demand for immunization. (Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press)

There have been two more flu shot clinics added in St. John's and Mount Pearl to meet the demand for immunization, says a public health nurse who has given 2,500 shots so far this season.

"The only true way to protect ourselves against influenza is to get vaccinated," says Nicolle Garrett, a public health nurse with Eastern Health.

So far this flu season in Newfoundland and Labrador, six people have died, Eastern Health says.

Last year, there were 39 influenza-related deaths; the year before, 14.

"I think more people are becoming more aware," Garrett told CBC's St. John's Morning Show.

"Just our team here in the St. John's area, we've given 30,500 doses of vaccine."

More than a quarter of the people who have come down with the flu so far this season are under 20, according to Eastern Health.

Garrett said this might be leading to the increase in demand for the shot this year.

"Our numbers six weeks into our program this year, we had surpassed what we did in all of last year for the flu clinics that were offered," she said.

With the added clinics this week in St. John's and Mount Pearl, the total number of mass influenza vaccine clinics in the metro region is at 47.

Anyone in the region still hoping for a flu shot can go to Church of the Good Shepherd in Mount Pearl on Feb. 5 between 3 and 7 p.m., or the Avalon Mall on Feb. 9 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Bailey White

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