News Release - October 1, 2007
FLU CLINICS STARTING OCTOBER 15
Pregnant women are now being included in Saskatchewan's publicly-funded immunization program which begins Monday, October 15. Free immunization is available to those at increased risk of influenza-related complications including pregnant women, adults over 65 years of age, residents of long-term care facilities, children aged six months to 23 months, and any resident with a chronic health condition.
Pregnant women are encouraged to receive the flu shot. They are more likely than non-pregnant women to require medical care and hospitalization for flu-related complications, should they develop influenza.
"The influenza vaccine is safe at any stage of a woman's pregnancy," Medical Health Officer Dr. Shauna Hudson said. "Of course, we continue to recommend that all Saskatchewan adults receive a flu shot from their public health nurse or physician to protect themselves, their friends and families from influenza this winter. Frequent hand washing also reduces the spread of the disease."
It is also important that young children, especially those between 6 months and 23 months of age receive the flu shot. Dr. Hudson reports that children in this age group are more likely to be hospitalized if they get the flu than older children.
If you are interested in receiving a flu shot but are not eligible for the publicly-funded vaccine, talk to your physician or public health nurse about purchasing an influenza vaccination. Starting October 29, local public health offices will also be holding clinics for the general public. Residents eligible for the free flu shots will not be reimbursed if they purchase their vaccine outside the public program.
For information on publicly-funded clinics in your community or region, contact your local public health office, physician or regional health authority.
For more information, contact: