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Weyburn, Saskatchewan
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Flu clinics in 2010

Seasonal influenza immunization clinics will begin in Sun Country Health Region (SCHR) on Tuesday October 12.

The primary goal is to protect the people who are most at risk for complications from influenza. SCHR wants to protect those most at risk by recommending they be immunized as one of the first priorities.

The Region also wants to protect people most at risk for complications from influenza by offering immunization to their household and close contacts so their family members don’t get influenza and then spread it to them.

Janice Giroux, Vice President of Community Health for SCHR, says “it’s been shown that the seasonal influenza vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent getting seasonal influenza. The effectiveness of the flu vaccine depends on several factors, including the similarity of the vaccine to the circulating virus strains. With a good match the influenza vaccine can provide 70-90 per cent protection in healthy individuals.”

Dr. Shauna Hudson, Medical Health Officer for SCHR says “H1N1 is expected to circulate again this year but we are expecting to see other types of influenza like we do during more typical influenza seasons. This year's seasonal influenza vaccine includes protection against H1N1 and two other strains of influenza.”

“The viruses that cause influenza are continually changing, so individuals need an influenza immunization each year to make sure their body forms antibodies against the influenza virus strains that are circulating that year” she says.

Mrs. Giroux says Public Health Nurses are putting the final touches on plans for their influenza clinics.

“The influenza vaccine will be available, free of charge this year, to any individual who wants to receive it. In SCHR, people can be immunized at local public health clinics and in some physician offices” she says.

The dates and locations of immunization clinics within SCHR will be posted on its web site at , on the Access Cable TV channel in communities where it is available, and on the SCHR blog at

An influenza shot is strongly recommended for all special risk groups. Residents who belong to any of these risk groups are advised to receive an influenza shot: 

  • Adults 65 years of age and older*
  • People with chronic health conditions* 
  • People with severe obesity*
  • Pregnant women*
  • Residents of nursing homes or other care facilities*
  • Member of a household expecting a newborn before March 2011
  • Children from 6 months of age to under 5 years of age
  • Household members and close contacts of infants under 6 months of age
    • Child care and day care workers who provide care to children aged 6 months to under 5 years of age
    • Health care workers, health care students or health care volunteers
    • People who work with poultry or hogs

“People who are a household member or close contact to people in some of these risk groups (the ones marked with *) should also receive immunization,” says Mrs. Giroux. “Not only will they protect themselves they also protect their family member by being immunized.”

“You also need to remember the simple but effective ways of preventing influenza like good hand washing techniques and cough etiquette to keep from spreading influenza to your friends and family.”

Dr. Hudson reminds people to thing twice about visiting our long term care residents when they have a cold or influenza. “People can decrease the risk of spreading influenza and other respiratory infections by not visiting long term care residents when they have influenza symptoms,” she says.

Posted Sept 17. 




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