October 9, 2013
Prairie North Health Region (PNHR) is launching its annual influenza vaccination program, beginning Monday, October 21, 2013.
Immunization clinics organized by the health region are scheduled across Prairie North from October 21, 2013 to end of December 2013. From January 2014 to the end of March 2014, flu shots are available at your nearest Public Health Office – check with your Public Health Office for availability. Flu shots are also available through physician offices.
“The most effective way to protect yourself and others from getting influenza is to get vaccinated,” states Diane Piper, Manager of Public Health Services for PNHR. She adds, “The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that all Canadians get the Influenza vaccine.”
Immunization against the influenza virus is a safe and effective way to prevent getting sick with and spreading the virus. Annual vaccination is recommended because the influenza viruses are always changing. Talk to your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or public health official if you have questions or concerns about getting the flu shot.
This year's seasonal influenza vaccine is available to everyone free of charge. Everyone is encouraged to get a flu shot. “People who do not get immunized are at risk of infection from the influenza virus and can also infect others,” says Piper.
Piper explains that people at high risk of serious illness or complications from influenza are especially encouraged to be immunized. She adds, “While some people think that influenza is a mild illness, it can be very serious.”
People at risk of complications or serious illness from the flu include:
- Children under 5 years of age
- Women who are pregnant
- People with chronic conditions such as heart, liver or kidney disease; blood disorders; diabetes; severe obesity; asthma and chronic lung disease; neurological disorders; and cancer or immune-compromising conditions
- Aboriginal people
- People age 65 years and older
- People who are residents of nursing homes or other chronic care facilities
These people are not more likely to get the flu; however, they are more at risk of developing complications if they do get sick. Studies repeatedly demonstrate that influenza immunization reduces the number of hospitalizations and visits to health care providers and is effective in preventing influenza-associated deaths.
Prairie North Health Region extensively advertises its flu clinics in local newspapers throughout the Region. A complete listing of all influenza immunization clinics in Prairie North is available on the Health Region's website at: http://www.pnrha.ca/ and on PNHR's Influenza Immunization line at 1-877-833-4161.
You may also contact your nearest Population/Public Health Office at:
- North Battleford 306-446-8601
- Lloydminster 306-820-6225
- Meadow Lake 306-236-1570
- Maidstone 306-893-2622
- Turtleford 306-845-3768
- Neilburg 306-823-3450
To find out where and when flu clinics are scheduled in your area, select from the following:
- Battleford, North Battleford, Cut Knife, Edam, Glaslyn, Maymont & Meota
- Lashburn, Livelong, Maidstone, Marsden, Marshall, Mervin, Neilburg, Paradise Hill, Paynton, St. Walburg, Turtleford & Waseca
- Meadow Lake, Goodsoil, Loon Lake & Pierceland
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Linda Lewis, PNHR Communications Officer (306) 446-6625
For a printable version of the news release, click here.