Flu clinics open in Regina

October 21, 2013 - 1:28pm
A flu shot about to be administered during a flu clinic. Photo by Adriana Christianson, News Talk Radio
A flu shot about to be administered during a flu clinic. Photo by Adriana Christianson, News Talk Radio

The first snowfall of the season is also serving as a reminder to get your flu shot as free immunization clinics open in Regina.

Kathy Roth is a public health nurse in charge of immunization for the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region.

“I think for the last three years the snow has really helped us with the kick-off,” she said.

There was already a big line-up of people waiting to get the flu shot as the free clinic opened at the Regina Seniors Centre on Monday morning. Among the crowd was Roughrider legend George Reed.

“The older you get the more that you need it and it’s nice to see a lot of people out taking advantage of it,” he commented.

Roth urges everyone to get the flu shot, but she says there are some groups at a higher risk for getting sick with the flu.

“The young children who haven’t built the immune system that we have as adults, and the older population—as we get older our immune systems are a little more compromised,” she said.

Reginan Alex Kosior gets his flu shot. Photo by Adriana Christianson, News Talk Radio.

Pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions are also at a higher risk of contracting asthma, diabetes and kidney, lung or heart diseases. Health care workers and volunteers, along with caregivers and people who have contact with any of the groups listed above, should also get a flu shot right away.

“What it does is it challenges your body to produce those antibodies against those viruses,” Roth explained.

She also assures the public that it is impossible to get the flu from a flu shot. While some people may be tired for a day or two, most people do not experience any other ill effects.

Last year 60,000 people took advantage of the flu shot program within RQHR, and this year Roth says they are hoping to increase their numbers.

Influenza immunization clinics are running at various locations throughout the health region until December and you can also get your flu shot at any doctor's office or walk-in clinic. Visit the RQHR website for more information and to find the schedule of drop-in clinics in your area.