Pharmacists Concerned with Lack of Accessible Flu Shots

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Starting Monday, the shots will be available at flu clinics at some pharmacies, and the offices of certain physicians and nurse practitioners.

Dr. Shahab said vaccination rates in Saskatchewan are declining.

"Our numbers have gone down from one in three, to around one in four", Shahab said. The injectable vaccine provides protection four strains of flu most likely to circulate this season, including the more severe H3N2. AHS said influenza caused more ER visits than heart attacks and strokes.

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The universal influenza vaccination will be offered again this year, which means everyone in the province six months and older will be able to access free flu shots.

Infants and children, up to the age of five, and pregnant women - especially in the second and third trimester - are at high risk of complications from influenza, Shahab said. Flu activity usually begins in October and can last until May. "We looked at some data from the USA and we opted not to offer it last year or this year".

To find the closest location where flu shots are available go to the government of Saskatchewan's website. Children under the age of nine must be vaccinated at a public health clinic. "For yourself, and your loved ones, get immunized".

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Every year, there are between five and 10 flu-related deaths in Saskatchewan.

More details on influenza immunization can be found online, or by calling Health Link at 811.

Last year, about 300,000 people got the vaccine and the province has received 350,000 doses for 2017-18.

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Carers across the area are being encouraged to get their free flu vaccine.

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