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Flu (Seasonal Influenza)
1. Where can I get vaccinated
The free injectable flu vaccine is available through public health clinics across the province, at some physician and Nurse Practitioner offices, and from participating pharmacies.
All residents 6 months and older can get the injectable flu vaccine.
Pharmacists can only immunize adults and children 9 years of age and older with a valid Saskatchewan health card. Children under 9 will need to be vaccinated at a public health clinic.
For more information about influenza or advice on when to seek care
> Call HealthLine 811
2. Who should get the influenza vaccine
The vaccine is recommended to everyone six months and older but is particularly important for people at high-risk of influenza complications:
- pregnant women;
- young children;
- the elderly;
- persons with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems; and
- caregivers and contacts of people at high risk.
Other ways to protect yourself against influenza:
- frequent hand washing;
- coughing and sneezing into your sleeve;
- cleaning surfaces often; and
- staying home when you are sick.
For more information about influenza, symptoms, prevention and treatment, visit HealthLine Online, contact the public health clinic in your area or call HealthLine 811.
3. Vaccine effectiveness and safety
The flu vaccine is a safe, effective way to protect yourself and those around you during the flu season.
Its effectiveness depends on:
- The match between the vaccine strains and the influenza strains circulating in the community; and
- The age and the immune response of the person being immunized.
It is more effective in people who are younger and otherwise healthy, such as children and adults, but may be less effective in older people. If a person gets influenza after getting immunized, they usually have a milder illness and are less likely to require hospitalization.
4. Further information
Influenza viral strains in this year's publicly funded vaccines
The vaccines used this year contain two influenza A viral components (H1N1 and H3N2) and two influenza B viral component, which have been identified by the World Health Organization as most likely to circulate in 2016-2017.
For more information, go to Health Canada's FluWatch page at http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/diseases-conditions-maladies-affections/disease-maladie/flu-grippe/surveillance/index-eng.php