Tag Archives: Flu Clinics

2017-2018 InFLUenza Season

Residents encouraged to get immunized before the end of public clinics

As infuenza season continues, Cypress Health Region residents are encouraged to receive their free influenza immunization. The Region’s seasonal influenza immunization campaign began on October 23 and will run until November 25th.

Immunizations are the best way to protect yourself, your family, and those around you from influenza. Influenza immunization is currently available, free of charge, to all Saskatchewan residents six months of age and older.

“Influenza is more serious than the common cold and can cause significant illness, even death, especially in more vulnerable populations. We strongly urge members of the public to get immunized and help minimize illness and complications in our communities,” commented Dr. David Torr, Medical Health Officer for the Health Region.

Influenza activity in Saskatchewan is increasing. The percentage of laboratory tests positive for influenza remains higher for this time of year compared to previous seasons. The majority of influenza detections are for influenza A (H3N2). The vaccine available this year offers protection against the influenza A (H3N2) and three other strains of the influenza virus.

As of November 9, 2017 there have been approximately 5,800 immunizations provided through the Cypress Health Region’s mass immunization clinics. Additional doses have been administered by pharmacies and physician offices and are not included in this figure.
For more information about influenza and the ongoing influenza immunization program including clinic dates, times and locations please visit www.cypressshealth.ca/influenza

Free Flu Shots Available in Saskatchewan Beginning October 31

To find a flu clinic in your community view the 2016 Flu Clinic Calendar.

Full information on Influenza can be found on our Influenza page here.

The publicly-funded (free) influenza vaccine will be offered in Saskatchewan beginning October 31 and is recommended to all residents six months of age and older.  The free flu vaccine will be available through public health clinics across the province, at some physician and nurse practitioner offices, and from participating pharmacies.

“Influenza, commonly known as the flu, can cause serious illness and result in complications, hospitalization and even death,” Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said.  “Getting a flu shot is especially important for people who are most at risk of serious illness from influenza – seniors, young children, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions – and their caregivers.”

Only injectable vaccine will be offered in Saskatchewan through the publicly-funded influenza immunization program for 2016-17.  The injectable vaccine provides protection against four different flu virus strains that are most likely to circulate in 2016-17.

To read full details regarding the fall influenza immunization campaign please visit our Influenza page.

Increased Influenza and Other Respiratory Virus Activity Reported

The influenza immunization program has been extended to April 29, 2016. You will have until this date to receive your flu vaccine. Read more here.

There is a noted increase in respiratory activity in the Cypress Health Region, including influenza. The public is encouraged to take precautions against spreading germs/illness and should consider receiving an influenza immunization if they have not already done so this flu season.  Lab confirmed influenza cases are currently circulating in various communities and an overall increase of influenza activity is being experienced.

The primary strains of influenza currently circulating are H3N2, H1N1, and Influenza B.  All of these are included in this year’s flu vaccine, meaning protection is available through immunization.  The health region is seeing particularly significant numbers of cases among the working age population and preschoolers.

Influenza, and the other circulating respiratory viruses, are contagious. They are spread by coughing, sneezing, or direct contact with the viruses in nasal and throat secretions. Symptoms can include sudden onset of fever and chills, a cough, muscle aches, a headache, fatigue, and a runny or stuffy nose.  In most cases, these infections may result in being home sick for a few days; however, influenza can result in hospitalization and death.

“We are presently seeing a large influx of respiratory activity in our communities and are seeing a surge in demand at clinics and emergency rooms by those who are ill,” commented Dr. David Torr, Consulting Medical Health Officer for the Cypress Health Region.  “Some of these cases are quite severe and we want to remind the public about the dangers of influenza.  Influenza is a vaccine-treatable illness and I strongly encourage individuals to protect themselves and their loved ones by receiving a free immunization.”

A drop-in clinic is scheduled at the Swift Current Public Health Office located in the E.I. Wood Building on Friday, March 18 from 8:30am to 11:30am. No appointment is necessary to receive a free immunization at this clinic.  Those living outside of Swift Current or whom are unable to attend on this date are encouraged to contact their local public health office to schedule an appointment.  In addition, some pharmacies and physician practices throughout the region may also still have access to vaccine.

In addition to immunization, other measures are recommended to be taken to help reduce the spread of illness and to improve one’s protection. These include proper and frequent handwashing, staying home when ill, covering your cough/sneeze, and frequent cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.  These precautions should be implemented in homes and businesses.

Resources:

Influenza Immunizations Remain Available via Drop-In Clinics

The Cypress Health Region has concluded the mass influenza immunization clinic schedule for the 2015 fall campaign. The health region’s Public Health Nursing team provided over 40 clinics in more than 20 communities throughout the region.

With the mass public clinic schedule now completed, the region has moved to the next phase of the influenza immunization campaign. A series of additional clinics have now been made available to provide individuals and families with further opportunities to receive the flu vaccine.


Drop-in style flu clinics have been scheduled and will be offered in the following communities/locations:

 

Swift Current – E.I. Wood Building, 4th Floor (350 Cheadle Street West)

  • Clinic times: 8:30am to 11:30am.
  • Dates: December 18; January 8 and 22; February 5 and 19; March 4 and 18

Maple Creek – Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility (102 – 5th Avenue West)

  • December 8 – 9:00am to 12:00 noon; 1:00pm to 4:00pm
  • December 17 – 1:00pm to 4:00 pm

Shaunavon – Public Health Nursing Office, Shaunavon Hospital & Care Centre

  • December 10 – 9:00am to 12:00 noon; 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Each of the above-noted clinics is drop-in style with no appointment necessary. Both injectable vaccine and FluMist, a nasal spray option for children aged 2-17, will be available for free. Individuals are reminded to bring their Saskatchewan Health Services card to the drop-in clinics.

Parents with children who are under 9 years of age and receiving the influenza immunization for the first time this year should be advised that their child will require a second dose of vaccine to enhance their protection. The second dose will be required one month after the first dose is received.

Immunization is the single most effective measure one can take to protect themselves, their family members, and those around them. The influenza immunization is beneficial for the entire population over the age of six months to receive.

Influenza vaccine is also available at many physician clinics and pharmacies throughout the Cypress Health Region

Questions regarding the influenza vaccine can be directed to your nearest public health nursing office, your family physician, your community pharmacy, or by calling the provincial HealthLine at 8-1-1.

Public Health Immunization Clinics to Begin October 19

Immunizations are the best way to protect yourself, your family, and those around you from influenza.  The Cypress Health Region will begin its seasonal influenza immunization campaign with the first clinic of the season on October 19 in Swift Current.

Vaccine will be available to all Saskatchewan residents at no cost.  Any person can attend any of the available public clinics to receive their immunization.  Between mid-October and mid-November 39 clinics will be offered in 20 communities throughout the southwest.  Several of these clinics offer evening and weekend opportunities.

Clinics in Cypress Health communities:

Everyone is encouraged to receive their seasonal influenza vaccination.

“Influenza is more serious than the common cold and can cause significant illness and even death, especially in more vulnerable populations. A number of people get seriously ill every flu season and sadly we do experience deaths in our region each year due to influenza. We are strongly urging the public to get immunized and help minimize illness and complications in our communities,” commented Dr. David Torr, Medical Health Officer for the health region.

“Vaccine is safe, effective, and protective and very rarely causes any complication. I strongly encourage everyone to get their annual influenza immunization and to encourage family, friends, and other members of the community to do the same – it is free and available to all,” added Torr.

High risk groups for influenza include health care workers, adults and children with chronic health conditions, child care providers, residents of nursing homes and long term care facilities, seniors, healthy pregnant women, and children younger than 5 years but older than 6 months of age.

High risk groups for influenza include health care workers, adults and children with chronic health conditions, child care providers, residents of nursing homes and long term care facilities, seniors, healthy pregnant women, and children younger than 5 years but older than 6 months of age.

Both injectable (needle) and nasal spray vaccine will be available.  Injectable vaccine is the primary method of immunization for the general public.  For those aged 2-17, a nasal spray option known as FluMist will be available again this year.  FluMist will be available from public health clinics before the end of October.

In addition to the public health immunization campaign, the public may also choose to receive their immunization from participating physician/nurse practitioner offices and pharmacies.  Please speak with your physician, nurse practitioner, or pharmacist to inquire about their offering of influenza immunizations.

For more information regarding the dates and locations of the 2015 seasonal influenza immunization clinics in your community please refer to the flu clinic calendar that is being sent to household mailboxes throughout the region.  Additional influenza and immunization information can be found on the health region’s influenza webpage and social media networks.  A phone information line has been established (306-778-5128) and will be regularly updated with clinic details.  You may also speak to your family physician or call the provincial HealthLine at 8-1-1.

Seasonal Influenza Immunizations

Influenza season is approaching and the Cypress Health Region is encouraging the public to get their flu shot this fall and to do so early in the season to ensure they have access to vaccine.

During last year’s influenza season, public uptake of vaccine during the mass immunization clinics was limited. As a result in early 2014 when influenza activity heightened measures needed to be taken to secure additional vaccine to immunize the public in a second wave of immunization clinics. This year that second opportunity will not be made available; therefore, it is as important as ever to get your immunization during one of the mass immunization clinics that will be available in various communities in October and November.

This year health regions throughout Saskatchewan are receiving pre-determined quantities of vaccine. Once these quantities are depleted there will not be additional vaccine available. This makes it important to receive your immunization early to guarantee your access to the vaccine.

Getting your flu shot has never been easier. The Cypress Health Region is providing additional evening and weekend flu clinics this season. In total more than 40 clinics will be available in 19 communities throughout the region.

Immunizations are free to the general public (those 6 months of age and older) and protect against the influenza virus which is easily spread through coughing, sneezing, and direct contact with nose and throat secretions. Influenza can result in hospitalization and death, especially in very young children, the elderly, and those with serious underlying health conditions. Symptoms include sudden onset of fever and chills, a cough, muscle aches, a headache, fatigue, and a runny or stuffy nose. Infected people can spread the virus on to others before they show any symptoms.

In 2014 the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health will be making a limited quantity of FluMist nasal vaccinations available. Those aged 2-17 years of age may be eligible to receive this type of vaccine, which does not require a needle. More information on FluMist can be found at www.health.gov.sk.ca/FluMist. Details specific to the Cypress Health Region will be publicized closer to the start of the mass immunization clinics.

Influenza is a serious virus and is important to protect yourself against. This year, an immunize-or-mask policy will be followed in all health facilities throughout the province during flu season, which usually starts in November. It will require non-immunized staff to wear protective respiratory masks in patient care areas. Saskatchewan is the second province in Canada to implement such a policy (British Columbia did in 2013), placing utmost emphasis on patient safety. The policy could also impact visitors to facilities who may be asked to wear a mask if they have chosen not to receive an influenza immunization.