October 14, 2015

Flu Vaccinations Across the Province Begin October 19

The publicly-funded influenza (flu) vaccine will be available in Saskatchewan beginning October 19.  All residents six months and older can receive it for free.

The free vaccine will be offered through public health clinics across the province, and some physician and nurse practitioner offices, as in previous years.

This year, for the first time in Saskatchewan, pharmacists will also be able to provide free flu vaccinations as part of the province’s influenza immunization program.  Approximately 200 of the 360 community pharmacies in the province plan to participate.

“We’re pleased pharmacists will offer this important service,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said.  “This additional option means increased access, choice and convenience for our residents.”

Getting vaccinated is particularly recommended to people at high risk of complications from influenza:

  • pregnant women;
  • young children;
  • the elderly; and
  • persons with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems.

“We strongly encourage everyone, especially people at high risk and their caregivers to get the flu vaccine,” Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said.  “Getting vaccinated early in the fall is the best way to protect yourself, your family and others around you during flu season.”

Residents six months and older can get the injectable vaccine once the flu clinics start on October 19.  The nasal vaccine (FluMist), an option for children between the ages of two and 17, will be available from public health clinics before the end of October.

Pharmacists will administer injectable flu vaccine only at community pharmacies to residents nine years of age and older with a valid Saskatchewan Health Services Card.  Children under nine will need to be vaccinated at a public health clinic.

Detailed information about clinic locations, dates and times is posted on health region websites.  People can also contact their public health office, call HealthLine 811 or visit www.saskatchewan.ca/flu for clinic schedules and to find the nearest clinic.

Those who want to get their free flu vaccination at a pharmacy or drugstore should check first to confirm they offer it.

For more information on influenza immunization in Saskatchewan and influenza symptoms, prevention and treatment, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/flu or call HealthLine 811.