Flu season is back, which means the influenza vaccine will begin to be distributed on Monday.
The free flu shot will be made available at pharmacies, clinics, and some physician and nurse practitioner offices.
Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan`s Chief Medical Officer, says getting the flu shot early is important.
“It’s important to consider getting it early on, like last week of October, first two weeks of November, get the flu vaccine before influenza starts transmitting,” Shahab says. “The flu vaccine is available to anyone who wants the flu vaccine, but certainly there are some groups who are high risk for influenza complications.”
Shahab says people over the age of 65, pregnant women, cancer patients, and children ages 6 months to 5 years old are at most risk and should get the vaccine.
He also says those people, as well as some others, should get the vaccine for sure.
“That includes health care workers, working in health care facilities, also in community settings,” Shahab says. “Also people who provide care at home. The uptake of health care workers generally is around 50%, but certainly it is higher in long-term care facilities where there’s good evidence that getting vaccinated as a care provider reduces the risk of transmission within long-term care facilities.”
Shahab says 350,000 doses are available, and more can be ordered if there is demand.
The influenza vaccine is only being distributed through injection this year, not the mist spray for kids.