Time to roll up your sleeves for flu shot season

Henrietta Brewer
October 21, 2017

The leaves have fallen, it's cooling down and soon your nose will be running: Flu season is here.

That's according to Sheridan County Public Health Nurse Carissa Watson.

"It takes about 2 weeks for the influenza vaccine to kick in for it to be effective", Wehner said. Experts recommend you get your flu shot before the end of the month.

Carers across the area are being encouraged to get their free flu vaccine.

Shahab added those most at risk for complications from the flu include people over 65, anyone with a chronic health condition, women who are pregnant and children under five.

The flu has resulted in two hospitalizations in Missoula County and one in Flathead County. We are really keen to get the uptake higher in persons who are high risk, so while the overall uptake is about 25 per cent, about 60 per cent of seniors choose to get the vaccine. Approximately half of all flu shots provided in the province a year ago were done by physicians.

For a second year in a row FluMist, a nasal spray vaccination, will not be offered. Influenza can be one less thing we battle this winter.

H3N2 is the particular strain the province will be looking out for, given how the southern hemisphere's flu season has gone.

"Generally we see anywhere from 10 to 50 hospitalizations per year and around five to 15 deaths a year", said Shahab.

Many carers are unaware they are entitled to a free vaccine and patients who need a full-time carer are likely to be at greater risk of becoming more seriously ill from the flu than the general population.

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