Saskatchewan residents are being encouraged to protect themselves against influenza this season by getting a flu shot. The publicly-funded seasonal influenza vaccine will become available across the province.
The Sun Country Health Region will be holding nine clinics in Weyburn between Monday, October 21 and Wednesday, November 27.
All individuals six months of age and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
"This is the fourth year we're offering the vaccine free of charge to all Saskatchewan residents over the age of six months," Health Minister Dustin Duncan said. "We want to ensure our residents have easy access to the flu shot and stay healthy during the flu season."
The publicly-funded vaccine will be available through public health clinics, physicians, and nurse practitioners across the province. Residents can contact their public health office, family physician, nurse practitioner, Regional Health Authority, or call HealthLine at 811 to find the nearest flu clinic. Information on flu clinics is also available on the Regional Health Authority's and Ministry of Health's websites.
"Getting the vaccine is an effective way to avoid becoming ill with influenza," Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said. "We particularly recommend the flu shot for people at high risk of influenza-related complications and those in close contact with individuals at high risk."
High-risk groups for influenza include: people with chronic health conditions; people 65 and older; residents of long-term care facilities; people with severe obesity; children under five and pregnant women.
Influenza is a contagious viral disease of the respiratory system that can be spread by coughing, sneezing or touching surfaces like door handles and then touching mouth, nose or eyes. In addition to getting a flu shot, the spread of influenza can be limited through infection prevention methods such as frequent hand washing, coughing and sneezing into the sleeve, cleaning surfaces often and staying at home when sick.
The Weyburn clinics will be held on a drop in basis beginning with one from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at City Centre Mall on Monday, October 21; at Bison Manor on October 25 from 9 a.m. to noon; Tuesday, October 29 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at City Centre Mall; Wednesday, October 30 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wheatland Senior Centre; Friday, November 1 from 9 a.m. to noon at Legion Towers; Wednesday, November 6 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at City Centre Mall; Thursday, November 7 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Wheatland Senior Centre; Saturday, November 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at City Centre Mall; and Wednesday, November 27 at 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Weyburn Public Health.