As we all know, 2020 has been the year of hand sanitizer, masks, endless Zoom conferences, and social distancing to help keep ourselves and those we love safe from the pandemic. With flu season now arriving and the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 getting closer, it’s time to gear up and add to those efforts to ensure the wellbeing of you and your family.\nThis year, it’s more important than ever to make getting your seasonal flu shot a priority. If you don’t regularly get the flu vaccine shot, it might be time to rethink that. Unfortunately, a recent *poll revealed that of the 40% of Canadians who don’t plan on getting a flu vaccination this year, three-quarters say they have made it through COVID-19, so the flu doesn’t worry them in comparison. Not only is this kind of mentality disappointing, but it can also be dangerous.\nAccording to Health Canada, millions of Canadians contract the flu every year, making it one of the top 10 leading causes of death in Canada. More than 3,500 people die and 12,200 are hospitalized every year. Because of this, it’s essential to consider the flu vaccine this year. Why? If the flu and COVID-19 converge, experts are predicting the possible emergence of a "twindemic," which could have serious consequences if hospitals become overwhelmed with the second wave of COVID-19. While the flu vaccine won't protect against coronaviruses, it does help prevent the flu, which could make you more vulnerable to other infections.\nGustavo Fring | Pexels\nThe next time you head to your local Loblaws, Zehrs, Real Canadian Superstore, or Atlantic Superstore locations, think about stopping at the pharmacy to get your seasonal flu shot, which will be available in most of the country now and in the coming weeks. In doing so, you’re helping prevent the spread of the flu to babies, seniors, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions, potentially stopping them from being hospitalized, or worse.\nNeedless to say, right now isn’t the time to let your guard down when it comes to your health. There’s absolutely no room for unnecessary risks this year. With locations in a neighbourhood near you, no appointment is required, plus a contactless digital consent form is available to complete before you arrive.\nFall is the ideal time to get vaccinated as your body takes up to two weeks to build immunity against the flu. This year’s flu vaccine will be available around mid-to late-October, with the exact date depending on which province you’re in.\nIn Loblaw pharmacies, strict COVID-19 safety measures are also in place. Each patient will be screened for COVID-19 exposure risk and symptoms before vaccination. Face shields and masks will be provided to all pharmacists, with the pharmacist sanitizing (washing hands) between each patient; plus, patients will also be required to wear a mask (regardless of local mask bylaws). Additionally, a new contactless, digital consent form is available this year for Canadians to fill out at home up to seven days before heading to the pharmacy for your shots to avoid touching paper in-store.\nAnna Shvets | Pexels\nVisit this website to find a pharmacy near you and help protect you, your loved ones, and everyone else around you from what could shape up to be an incredibly severe flu season. This is the year we’ll all be glad to say I #GotMyShot.\nFor more details depending on your location, you can follow No Frills on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; Real Canadian Superstore on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; Zehrs on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; or Atlantic Superstore on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.\nFor more information on getting your flu vaccine, follow Loblaws on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.\n*Environics Research: Conducted between August 5 – 14 using an online methodology, with a sample of 1,152 Canadians. The margin of error for this survey is plus or minus 3 percentage points.