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Free flu shots available in Saskatchewan starting Oct. 22

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WATCH ABOVE: Dr. Julie Kryzanowski from the Saskatchewan Health Authority explains why people should be getting a flu shot – Oct 23, 2018

Publicly-funded influenza vaccine shots will be available in Saskatchewan starting Monday, Oct. 22.

Anyone aged six months and older in the province can get a free flu shot at public health clinics, pharmacies, and some physician and nurse practitioner offices.

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“Influenza can cause serious illness and may lead to complications, hospitalization and even death,” Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, said in a press release.

“Don’t wait. Get your flu shot early in the season to protect yourself, your family and those to whom you provide care.”

The Saskatchewan government’s program offers the injectable vaccine, which provides protection against four different flu virus strains most likely to circulate this season.

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Officials said even if a person gets influenza after they are immunized, they usually have a milder illness and are less likely to require hospitalization.

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They added vaccinations are especially important for people at high risk of complications, such as pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and persons with underlying health conditions.

Seniors often have chronic health conditions like heart or lung disease and weaker immune systems, making them particularly vulnerable to complications from influenza. The province is providing Fluzone high dose vaccine this year to improve protection for seniors in long-term care.

Pharmacists are allowed to administer the free vaccine to children aged five and older during home visits, and in congregated living settings.

For a list of pharmacies that provide the free flu shot, check the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan website.

Contact HealthLine 811 or visit the Saskatchewan Health Authority online for a complete list of public flu clinics.

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