Flu shot program to launch Monday

Dr Toby Davies getting flu jab Oct 2017 at Castle Practice Ludgershall

". The Bartow County Health Department and some other flu-vaccine providers in the community are offering the quadrivalent flu vaccine that provides broader protection against circulating flu viruses and is approved for people 6 months and older and the Fluzone high-dose vaccine for adults 65 and older who are at greater risk of severe illness from influenza".

AHS said immunization is the most effective means of protecting against the different strains of the virus that circulate each season.

NHS England's regional medical director (South), Dr Nigel Acheson said: "Many people think of flu as just a bad cold, but it is much more serious than that".

"Our numbers have gone down from one in three, to around one in four", Shahab said. AHS said influenza caused more ER visits than heart attacks and strokes.

Only the injectable vaccine will be available tin Saskatchewan in 2017-18.

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"We did offer the FluMist for a couple of years and it was well received, parents loved it, but there were some concerns about its effectiveness, especially for one strain, the H1N1 strain", Shahab said. "Unfortunately, in 2016, only 47 percent of the USA population got a flu shot, so we're a long way from achieving herd immunity against influenza". Children under the age of nine must be vaccinated at a public health clinic.

"It's also recommended that pregnant women get a flu vaccine during any trimester of their pregnancy".

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

To get a list of pharmacies that provide the free flu shot, check the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan website (www.skpharmacists.ca) or ask your local pharmacist.

Shahab said the province follows what happens in the southern hemisphere when forecasting the flu season.

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