This year’s flu season got off to a rough start. Over the past few years, measures taken to combat the spread of COVID have halted seasonal flu epidemics. The state government sees growing evidence of a resurgence of the flu this year.
On November 10, the Community Respiratory Disease Surveillance Program (CRISP) saw a dramatic increase in the number of cases in the medical community, with 61% of reported cases in children and adolescents up to 19 years of age. Rising absentee rates reported by school departments across the state reflect challenges. The Chief Medical and Health Officer is urging residents to keep their flu shots up to date.
“With respiratory illnesses, including influenza, on the rise this fall, all residents should be up-to-date on available vaccinations,” said the state’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab. says. “In Saskatchewan, we are lucky to have safe and effective vaccines against influenza and COVID-19. However, COVID-19 is not the flu and the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you from the flu The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to get the flu vaccine every year.”
As of November 10, Saskatchewan had received 185,531 doses of influenza vaccine, equivalent to approximately 15% of the population.
All Saskatchewan residents over the age of 6 months are eligible to receive a flu shot at participating pharmacies, Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) clinics, and some doctor and nurse clinics. Influenza vaccination is free.
Children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years can only be vaccinated at a SHA public flu clinic, Public Health Service, or a doctor or nurse. Only select clinics will provide influenza and/or COVID-19 vaccines.
“A number of respiratory diseases are currently putting pressure on Saskatchewan’s acute care system,” said Shahab. “The best way to protect yourself from the flu is to vaccinate yourself by taking common sense measures such as staying home when you are sick, washing your hands frequently, and choosing to wear a mask when you think it is appropriate. is to receive
For information and online booking, www.4flu.ca.