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SCHR changing approach to Influenza Immunization

Sun Country Health Region (SCHR) will follow the advice of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health to focus its Public Health influenza immunization clinics on pregnant women and children between the ages of six months and 59 months.  

Starting Saturday, pregnant women and children between the ages of six months and 59 months will be the focus of SCHR’s efforts. They will be the only groups of people eligible to receive flu shots at the public health clinics in SCHR and throughout the province.

Saskatchewan Health is working with its partners to secure additional vaccines and distribute it to the health regions as it becomes available.

Flu season generally begins in November and continues until March/April. SCHR began offering vaccination to staff and the public on October 21, 2013. Public interest in the flu shot has been higher all season in SCHR and has increased in recent weeks.

The H1N1 strain has been predominant from the start of the influenza season and it is expected that young children (less than five years of age) will be at greater risk as they will not have immunity to H1N1 and will be more susceptible. Pregnant women are also at increased risk for severe illness from H1N1.

H1N1 is the same strain that first appeared in 2009 and it has been included in influenza vaccines since 2010.

Dr. Shauna Hudson, Medical Health Officer for Sun Country Health Region, reminds the public they should take all other precautions to avoid the seasonal influenza infection. That includes adopting infection prevention methods such as frequent handwashing, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, cleaning surfaces often and staying at home when sick.

Dr. Hudson also reminds people that if they are sick they should not visit residents in long-term care facilities or hospitals within the Region.

SCHR is also encouraging all visitors who are not immunized to wear a mask when they visit residents and patients in its health care facilities to protect vulnerable residents.

Masks are available at the entrances to health care facilities or can be obtained by speaking with the nursing staff.

If you are the parent of a child between the ages of six months and 59 months, or are a pregnant woman, please call your local Public Health office to make an appointment for an influenza immunization.

Public Health Nurses in SCHR can be reached at:

Estevan Public Health - 637-3626
Weyburn Public Health - 842-8618
Kipling Public Health - 736-2522
Redvers Public Health - 452-4020
Carlyle Public Health - 453-6131
Coronach Public Health - 267-5705 or 869-2555
Radville Public Health - 869-2555
Oxbow Public Health - 483-2313 

Posted Jan. 10

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