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Saskatchewan pharmacists preparing for ‘pretty crazy’ flu shot season, advise calling ahead

Click to play video 'Healthy Living: What you need to know ahead of flu season' Healthy Living: What you need to know ahead of flu season
WATCH: With flu season closing in, there's even more encouragement to get our flu shot this year in the midst of COVID-19. Pharmacist Kelly Kizlyk explains to us what you need to know for this year.

Come Monday, you’ll be able to get your flu shot in Saskatchewan, but pharmacists are warning people to be patient this year amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan (PAS) said it’s expecting more people than usual wanting to get vaccinated this flu season.

The Ministry of Health ordered 36.5 per cent more vaccine doses to prepare for the increased demand than past years.

Read more: Saskatchewan purchases more flu vaccine to deal with anticipated spike in demand

“We’re expecting it to be pretty crazy,” said PAS CEO Dawn Martin.

“Our pharmacies and pharmacists are prepared as much as they can be given the fact that they’re doing this within a pandemic situation.”

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Read more: ‘A little bit befuddling’: Saskatoon store’s anti-mask sign sparks concern

Martin advises people to call their pharmacy ahead of time, as some might offer walk-in flu shots, while others may only take appointments.

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She said people should ask about the safety protocols in place at the pharmacy, and be prepared to wear a mask. She said pharmacies opened additional clinics to help meet demand.

Read more: Sask Court of Apeal quashes fine against nurse who made critical Facebook post

“Be as patient as you can because this is an exceptional year for all the providers out there trying to get this vaccination into everybody’s arms,” Martin said.

Pharmacists advise wearing a short-sleeve shirt to limit touching when getting the shot.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.