Public Health officials are encouraging Saskatoon and area residents to make the most of the final public health mass drop-in influenza immunization clinic offered today and tomorrow at the Lakewood Civic Centre (1635 McKercher Drive) in Saskatoon. The clinic runs from 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Health officials are warning that influenza is already appearing in the community and the percentage of those testing positive remains higher for this time of year compared to previous seasons. The majority of influenza detected is Influenza A (H3N2), particularly severe form of flu that is associated with increased hospitalizations and deaths, and is typically known for affecting older patients. Persons at risk for serious flu complications include young children; pregnant women; people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes and asthma; and people 65 years and older.
This year’s free vaccine protects against this particular strain, along with three others, and can be given to anyone over 6 months of age.
Health officials point out that Australia and New Zealand have just emerged from one of their worst flu outbreaks in 50 years and the elderly and young children were most at risk.
Other smaller drop in influenza immunization clinics are happening this week and next week in, and include communities of Lanigan, Strasbourg, Wakaw, Rosthern and Martensville.
To help keep the lines moving, please arrive with your screening form already filled out and bring your Health Card.
For the screening form and public health drop-in immunization clinic times and locations, visit 4flu.ca
There are also close to 100 pharmacies in the Region providing influenza vaccine. Pharmacists provide free influenza vaccination to adults and children over 9 years of age with a valid Saskatchewan Health card. Children under the age of nine must be immunized by either Public Health or a physician.