Flu vaccines on the way to primary health care providers

A total of 250,000 seasonal flu vaccines have been ordered with the second consignment expected in November

The annual seasonal flu vaccination campaign is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and HMC.

Public health officials have moved to reassure the public vaccinations will be available before the flu season is in full swing.

Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and Head of the Infectious Diseases Division at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, said cutting the risk of flu will protect the community and help the health system in times of COVID-19.

It's important every year for people who are vulnerable to complications of influenza to get their flu shot, and this year is particularly important because we've got this concurrent occurrence of both COVID and influenza.

He added that there is a more effective vaccine for flu but not for Covid-19 and so it is important for all to get themselves vaccinated.

"People of any age can get influenza. People who receive the vaccine can still get influenza, but if they do it may be milder".

"If we could prevent that and have less fibril illnesses because people have gotten the flu shot, it will just make it that much easier to deal with schools, work, things like that and prevent so much disruption", said the doctor.

But, early in the season, vaccinations begin in residential care facilities, and for health-care workers and individuals with high-risk medical conditions such as chronic heart or lung disease or cancer.

Private pharmacies are supplied by their local health units through the B.C. Center for Disease Control and pharmacists are not permitted to administer injectable vaccines to children under five.

Saskatchewan received 596,000 doses of the influenza vaccine which is a 36.5 per cent increase over previous years.

The ministry said from Monday, the vaccine will only be available from 10 health centres.

MoPH said that it aims to vaccinate around 500000 people and the vaccination will start from tomorrow, 20 October.