Rexall Pharma Plus is urging Ontario residents to get their flu shot and take other preventive measures amid reports of increased incidence of flu across the province.


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Rexall touts flu shots amid rising influenza activity

December 26th, 2012

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – Rexall Pharma Plus is urging Ontario residents to get their flu shot and take other preventive measures amid reports of increased incidence of flu across the province.

The Canadian drug chain said this week that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care recently announced high flu activity in Ontario.

The ministry reported that from Sept. 1 to Dec. 10, Ontario had 729 lab-confirmed cases of influenza, compared with 15 cases in the prior-year period. In addition, there have been 49 flu institutional outbreaks in that time frame this year, whereas there were none a year earlier.

"With the rise of influenza rates across Ontario, it is even more important to protect yourself and your family from the flu and the flu shot is the best protection," Frank Scorpiniti, chief executive officer of Rexall Pharma Plus, said in a statement. "Getting a flu shot for Ontarians is as easy as visiting any of our more than 250 Rexall Pharma Plus pharmacies in the province with no appointment needed. We also recommend preventative measures especially as we tend to socialize more during the holiday season."

Rexall said Ontarians can take some simple steps to help prevent the spread of flu virus: wash your hands frequently; keep your hands away from your face; cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand; keep common surface areas clean and disinfected; and if you get sick, stay home.

In October, Rexall Pharma Plus announced that it would offer flu vaccinations on a walk-in basis in all of its over 250 drug stores in Ontario, where it has about 700 certified immunizing pharmacists. The chain reported at the time that a survey it commissioned found that 69% of Ontarians would be equally or more likely to get a flu shot at a local pharmacy if they could.

Each year, seasonal flu results in up to 1,000 hospitalizations and as many as 1,600 deaths in Ontario, according to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The ministry also reported that expert scientific studies show that Ontario's Universal Influenza Immunization Program annually saves the provinces health care system 30,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms and 200,000 visits to doctors' offices.

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