Annual influenza vaccine clinics to start week of October 21

Saskatchewan residents with a valid health card can get their flu shot starting the week of October 21 at public health clinics, local pharmacies, and some physician and Nurse Practitioner offices.

“Although there have been delays in the delivery of this year’s influenza vaccine, the Ministry of Health has confirmed with Health Canada that Saskatchewan will receive vaccine to support the provincial program start date the week of October 21,” said Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer, in a release.

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Flu shots are recommended for those at higher risk, including seniors, people with underlying chronic health conditions, children under five, and pregnant women.  Seniors often have chronic health conditions (like heart or lung disease or diabetes) and weaker immune systems, which makes them particularly vulnerable to complications from influenza.

The public is asked to note that due to public venues being used as polling stations for the Federal Elections, some locations will be launching on Monday October 21, and others later in the week. Visit the Saskatchewan Health Authority website at https://www.saskhealthauthority.ca/Services-Locations/flu for the most up-to-date information on drop-in clinic times and locations.

In Preeceville clinics will be held at the Preeceville Club 60 (November 5, November 21 and November 22) and at the Public Health Office (December 5 and December 19). In Sturgis, a clinic will be held at the READ Club on October 29.

In Canora and surrounding area, clinics will be held at the Canora Keen Age Centre (October 24, November 4, November 18 and December 2), the Canora Health and Wellness Centre (November 29 and December 16), Club 50 in Buchanan (October 28), the Veregin New Horizons Senior Centre (October 30), The Invermay School Gym (October 28), the Invermay Golden Age Club (November 20) and the Rama Golden Jets Centre (October 30).

Pharmacists can administer the free flu shot to residents five years and older, during home visits, and in congregate living settings. Children under five and non-Saskatchewan residents can be vaccinated at a public health clinic.

For a list of pharmacies that provide the free flu shot, check the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan website at http://www.skpharmacists.ca/patients/flu-shots or ask your local pharmacy if they offer it. More than 340 pharmacies will offer free flu vaccinations this season.

Information on influenza immunization in Saskatchewan is available at www.saskatchewan.ca/flu.  For advice on influenza symptoms and when to seek care, call HealthLine 811 or visit www.healthlineonline.ca.