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COVID-19, flu vaccines on the way as cases rise: CRISP report

FILE - A COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Halle, Germany. According to Saskatchewan’s latest report, COVID-19 and influenza infections are low but on the rise.(Hendrik Schmidt/dpa via AP, File). Hendrik Schmidt / The Associated Press

Just in time for the province’s flu season, Saskatchewan residents will be able to get their flu and COVID-19 shots starting next week.

Oct. 10 marks the formal start date for COVID-19 and flu vaccine availability, though high-risk individuals may be eligible for an earlier vaccine at pharmacies or where vaccines are available.

According to the province’s latest Community Respiratory Illness Surveillance Program (CRISP) report, COVID-19 and influenza infections are low but on the rise.

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From Sept. 10 to Sept. 23, COVID-19 positive tests rose to 159, while test positivity was at 9.5 per cent.

“COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses account for 54% and 44% of hospitalizations due to respiratory illnesses across the province, respectively,” the report read.

Eleven COVID-19 outbreaks were reported in a high-risk setting over the last two weeks.

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There was also an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, rising to 141 from 91 over the last four weeks.

“Influenza activity has increased over the past week but remains below the inter-seasonal 2% test positivity threshold,” the CRISP report read. “There were only three hospitalizations and no ICU admissions for the most recent four weeks.”

“Other” respiratory virus hospitalizations have increased to 115 for the most recent four weeks from 77 for the preceding four weeks. “Other” respiratory viruses ICU admissions have remained at 14.

All areas of the province have less than half the population up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, except for Regina.

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