Quebec's influenza vaccination campaign will end this Friday

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The influenza vaccination campaign will end this Friday (Jan. 8) in Quebec.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) said that the spread of influenza has greatly decreased and that the influenza activity index has been almost zero since last April, both in Quebec and in the rest of Canada.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, several measures put in place to limit contact between people, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask and washing hands more often, have also helped reduce flu transmission and other respiratory viruses.

The ministry's announcement Thursday follows a recommendation from the Quebec Immunization Committee.

The Committee recommended not to continue the vaccination campaign any longer after an epidemiological analysis of the influenza situation.

Despite the end of the campaign, people at risk who would like to obtain the influenza vaccine will be able to receive it because doses will remain available in various establishments within the Quebec health and social services network.

According to the vaccination register, nearly 1.5 million doses have been administered in Quebec since the start of the influenza vaccination campaign.

The low prevalence of seasonal flu in Quebec reflects what happened during the winter that ended in the countries of the southern hemisphere. Australia, New Zealand, Chile and South Africa have all reported a plunge in the number of influenza cases compared to the previous winter.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 7, 2021. 

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