Following one of the deadliest flu seasons on record, including 30 deaths last year in Ottawa alone, the city’s public health unit wants everyone to roll up their sleeve. Lorette Dupuis is program manager of immunization with Ottawa Public Health and is urging seniors, students, parents and children to get the shot.

 “We are seeing the same strain circulating in the community that we do have in our flu vaccines this year so we’re hoping the match is good”

Ottawa Public Health confirmed a senior died earlier this month as a result of the flu, but won’t release details on the circumstances leading to the person’s death.

Dupuis says toddlers, pregnant women, seniors and those with those with chronic conditions have a heightened risk of illness as a result of the flu. Ottawa Public Health says getting the shot will save lives.

Dupuis says “We’re hoping that the full season hasn’t begun yet in full-force just yet and those getting vaccinated will protect themselves so it’s not as bad.”

 Pharmacist Mital Desai has been administering flu shot for five years at Rexall Pharmacy she says students and seniors have been coming in asking to get vaccinated now more than ever.

“This year's flu vaccine is very effective and they've been getting it” says Desai.

Ryan Goodwin is a first-year UOttawa student from Brockville. He says friends were getting sick and it prompted him to get the shot. “The first couple of weeks, a lot of people were sick because I feel like our immune systems weren't up to date or whatever”

Many at The Good Companions Senior Centre insist the flu shot has kept them in good health this season, despite mixed results last year. Jacqueline Hamel says last year was the first time she got the flu.

“I thought I was super healthy but I would get the flu every once in a while and with the flu shot - I’m amazed.” says Florence Hrehirchek, a former nurse who recommends the vaccine to her friends.

Ottawa Public Health has two more clinics planned, including Thursday night at Sacred Heart Catholic High School in Stittsvile from 3:30 to 7:30pm and Monday from 9am to 4pm at Ottawa City Hall.