A total of 231 persons attended the first flu immunization clinic at the Keen Age Centre on October 22, said Kelly Strelioff, the public health nurse for the Canora area.
She was joined by Monique Trowell, the public health nurse for the Kamsack district and Carol Heskin, the public health nurse for the Norquay district.
To make everything go along smoothly, it was good to have the four volunteers assist with processing everyone, Strelioff said. The volunteers were Edith Kotzer, Sonia Fullawka, Joanne Zawislak and Bernice Wilgosh.
This is about an average response for the first clinic of the season, she said. The next major clinic will be November 7 at the Rainbow Hall. That clinic will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In the Sunrise Health Region, influenza immunization clinics began on October 19. A listing of all Sunrise Health Region influenza immunization clinics was delivered to every home mailbox in the region (with the exception of mailboxes not accepting flyers). A total of 100 clinics in 36 communities are planned in Sunrise Health Region from October to December.
Residents of all ages, including children over the age of six months, can get the injectable vaccine but the nasal spray vaccine, an option for children between the ages of two and 17, was to be available before the end of October. Strelioff said some may be available for the next clinic.
The flu vaccine is a safe, effective way for people to protect themselves and those close to them during the flu season. A public health nurse at each of the clinics asks a series of questions to screen for the very few people who cannot be immunized.
The vaccine is provided free of charge. When attending the clinics, people are encouraged to wear a short-sleeved shirt and will need their Saskatchewan Health Card.
This year, for the first time in Saskatchewan, pharmacists will also be able to provide free flu vaccinations, as part of the province’s seasonal influenza (flu) immunization program. This additional option provides increased access, choice and convenience for residents. About 200 of the approximately 360 community pharmacies in the province plan to participate. Canora Pharmacy is one of the participating pharmacies. Pharmacists will administer injectable flu vaccine only, at community pharmacies, to Saskatchewan residents nine years of age and older with a valid Saskatchewan Health Services Card.
Children under nine years of age will need to be vaccinated at one of the Sunrise Health Region influenza immunization clinics.