When and where to get your flu shot this year
It’s flu (shot) season
Flu clinics will begin on October 19 this year. During the pandemic, it is more important than ever to get your flu shot. Here’s your important need-to-know information for this year as things will be a little different from years past.
First of all this year, flu shots are by appointment only, so call your local clinic or pharmacy ahead of time to book your flu shot in advance. For more information on where you can get your flu shot check the Sask Health Authority Website.
For residents of Regina, starting October 19, 2020 the International Trade Center at Evraz Place will be set up as a flu clinic. Call ahead of time at 306-766-4000 to book your appointment. The entrance is on Lewvan Drive and 11th Avenue. It will be open every day for three weeks from October 19 to November 9. If you have your health card, bring it. If you don’t have a health card don’t worry. They will still give you a flu shot and there is no cost.
A flu vaccine is more important than ever this year. The flu always has the potential to be deadly, and even if not can lead to serious health problems like pneumonia. While a vaccine might not keep you from getting the flu, it can make the symptoms milder and lower the risk of other health problems.
When should you not get the vaccine? According to the Sask Health Authority website only if:
- You have a severe allergy to any part of the vaccine
- Have had a serious reaction to the vaccine in the past
- Have had Guillain-Barre Syndrome
- Are already sick
Flu Shot FAQ
- The flu shot contains a killed form of several types of flu viruses that causes your immune system to make antibodies. That way, if you’re exposed to the flu later, the antibodies can attack and destroy the virus.
- You have to get the flu shot yearly as flu strains are constantly changing. The types of strains used for the vaccine are the strains epidemiologists anticipate will be most common that year.
- It takes 2 weeks for your body to produce antibodies so it’s important to get the flu shot early.
- You cannot get the flu from the vaccine. However, you may have a fever and muscle aches for a day or two after you get the shot.
For people who don’t like needles there are other options, such as Intanza. Intanza is a much smaller needle that injects the vaccines into the skin instead of into a muscle, so it is less painful. People who are 18 years old or older can get this shot but it may not be available everywhere so call ahead of time and ask. There is also a nasal spray flu vaccine. It can cause mild side effects such as runny nose, headache, fever, sore throat, cough, or muscle aches.
The risks involved with a flu shot are very small but the help it provides is very large. Getting your flu shot is an easy way to keep you, and the people around you healthy this flu season.