Along with reminders to keep COVID-19 vaccines up to date, the Saskatchewan Health Authority is reminding Saskatchewan residents not to forget about flu season. In a release, the SHA says early indications are that influenza 2023 is likely to return to pre-COVID-19 levels or higher. COVID restrictions kept flu outbreaks in check, but the concern is that flu cases, in tandem with ongoing COVID-19 transmission, will put additional pressure on the system.
"The flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, and the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you from influenza. Right now both viruses are circulating, which is why it is important to be up to date with both vaccines, protecting yourself and those around you,” noted Dr. Tania Diener, Medical Health Officer for Regina and COVID-19 Immunization Co-Chief, for the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Indications from southern countries like Australia, who are just emerging from their flu season, are showing data that this was the worst in five years. Getting a flu shot is especially important for people at high-risk of influenza complications (pregnant women, young children, elderly residents 65 years of age and older, persons with underlying health conditions, immune-compromised) and their caregivers, notes the Health Authority. Seniors often have chronic health conditions, like heart or lung disease or diabetes, and weaker immune systems which makes them more vulnerable to complications from influenza. This year, a high dose influenza vaccine is available to all residents age 65 and older.
Any resident aged six months and older are eligible to get the flu shot and immunization against COVID-19. For more information about influenza and upcoming flu clinics, visit 4flu.ca.
Here are the scheduled flu vaccine clinics for the Humboldt area: