Flu vaccines will be available at Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) clinics, participating pharmacies and doctors’ offices starting Oct. 11.
As the flu season approaches with no mask mandates or restrictions in place, the provinces top doctor said countries in the southern hemisphere are reporting flu infections have climbed back to pre-COVID-19 levels.
“As they relaxed public health measures and had a higher vaccination rate saw a little bit of COVID continuing over the winter. But they also saw an early start of the influenza season,” Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province’s chief medical health officer, said.
Shahab believes Saskatchewan could see the trend follow through as well. But, he added that getting an annual flu vaccine is the best available protection against the virus.
“We always used to do common sense things, even before COVID,” he said.
“If you or your child is sick: don’t drag yourself to work and stay home until you are better. But this fall, I really encourage people to make plans to get both their COVID bivalent vaccine and the flu vaccine.”
The Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan said staff are ready to administer flu shots as soon as theyre available, along with the next round of COVID-19 boosters.
“Even without COVID, every flu season is different,” Michael Fougere, the CEO of the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan, said.
“What I can tell you and every parent looking for the flu shot is we’ll have them available and you can go into any pharmacist and receive that shot.”
Any resident aged six months and older are eligible to get the shot. The SHA website has a full list of flu vaccine clinics around the province.