Flu shots encouraged

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October 16, 2014 11:05 AM

Prairie North Health Region (PNHR) is encouraging everyone to be immunized against influenza this year and is expanding its annual influenza vaccination campaign to make it easier for you to get your flu shot.

Flu immunization clinics organized by the health region began today in several communities and are scheduled across Prairie North through the end of December 2014.

From January 2015 to the end of March 2015, flu shots are available at your nearest Public Health Office. Flu shots are also available through some physician or nurse practitioner offices.

“Prairie North is working hard this fall to immunize as many people as possible. We’ve expanded the number of clinics being held across the region, and are extending clinic hours into some evenings and weekends,” said Diane Piper, manager of public health services for PNHR, in a news release.

“We are also taking our clinics to some new locations, particularly where people are already gathered for events such as a trade show and a hockey game in North Battleford.

“We’re reaching out to people where they are, trying to make it as easy as possible for individuals and families to be immunized against the flu.”

PNHR public health nurses will be offering flu immunizations in select schools in the region for students, their siblings and parents, and school staff. “We are trying to get to as many schools as we can as early as we can,” stated Piper.

“Most children won’t even have to get a needle this year to be immunized against influenza,” said Piper. FluMistâ nasal spray vaccine will be available before the end of October for children two years to 17 years of age.

“We expect this needle-free option for kids to be popular with parents and of course, with the youngsters themselves,” Piper said.

In a further effort to increase influenza immunizations, Prairie North has expanded promotion of its flu clinics through regional media, and made flu clinic schedules and information more readily accessible through a special www. pnrha.ca/flu web page accessible through smart phone QR code apps.

“We are really striving to reach out to a broad range of people through a wide variety of means,” explained Piper. “The bottom line is that we want as many people to be immunized as possible against influenza.”

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 or flu nasal spray.

The flu vaccine is available free of charge to everyone age six months and older.

A complete listing of all influenza immunization clinics in Prairie North is available at www.pnrha.ca/flu .

Flu clinic schedules are available at most physician clinics in the Health Region and on posters in many community locations. Schedules have been published in local newspapers.

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