I'm once again facing that dilemma of the "seasonal flu shot" in the province of Quebec that I live in here in Canada. While I read of my American friends and other friends in parts of Canada that have already received their flu shots - it makes me wonder about the province I live in. Why do they take so long to make the vaccine available?
I know I've told some of my American friends that here in Quebec they are waiting for that perfect formula to incorporate all the nasty flu viruses that they feel will do the most harm to the population. This was told to me by a nurse on call at the CLSC (that I spoke to on the phone. Even better, was when I spoke to her about the recent news article about having the flu shot earlier in the season was beneficial to the heart, she seemed abit stumped by what answer to give to me.
If you haven't opened up the link above to read the news article - in a nutshell - the article states that getting the flu shot earlier in the season rather then later in the fall is actually beneficial to our heart. A study was done in England and Wales where researchers found that the annual flu shot was associated with a large drop in the rates of first heart attacks!
It's been a long time since I've had the flu symptoms, but they usually range from running noise, achy muscles, phlegmy cough (gross), but what it also affects is inflammation in various tissues. What the researchers say is that they think the inflammation affects the lining of the blood vessel, which causes plaque to form. This plaque when it dislodges can block a coronary artery, stop the blood flow and BOOM cause a heart attack. As we diabetics know, we are already compromised with our blood vessels to begin with! So, the flu shot has two advantages as far as I'm concerned.
Anyway, it's been recommended by my American friends that I come on over to the border and get my flu vaccination at Walgreens or one of the many pharmacies that offer it. I have to admit I am HIGHLY tempted to do this, as I'm starting to get annoyed at our so called "free" health care system in the province I live in.
Hopefully the RAMQ (Regie de l'assurance Quebec) is reading this - as I've already sent them an email about my dismay at having to wait until mid-November to be eligible for my flu shot. To make matters worse, the address they list to go and get the flu shot on their webpage does not exist in my GPS, Google Maps, Map Quest - it's like looking for a needle in the haystack!