By Henry Tempelman, Pharmacist/Owner of Evergreen Pharmacies
Don’t roll that sleeve back down yet.. Show me that shoulder. It’s a new season with a new (but familiar) character. The flu shot is back, and it’s as important as it’s ever been.
Many have received their COVID vaccines in the last few months, and more people are still coming to get vaccinated, which is great to see! With the pandemic, there has been an increased awareness about the positive impact vaccines can have on an individual’s health, along with the health of those close to them. We saw this firsthand at our pharmacy last year, with a significant increased uptake on our flu shot offerings.
National polls leading up to this flu season support these concepts. 58% of Canadians who responded to the poll said they intend to get the flu shot, and 53% of those who intend to get it said they are likely to get it a pharmacy. 34% of respondents mention that the pandemic is more likely to increase the likelihood of them getting the flu shot rather than reduce the likelihood of getting the flu shot.
It’s also worth noting that the flu (influenza) and COVID-19 are different viruses and that the vaccine for one will not protect you from the other virus. The symptoms of infection from both viruses can present similarly in early stages (fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, cough). We are still in the pandemic and public health is recognizing these symptoms as a potential case of COVID-19. The flu shot is important in preventing the flu and reducing your chances of undergoing unnecessary COVID-19 testing/isolation and missed time from work/school. And, of course, if you’re young and healthy then getting your flu shot is still important to protect your family (grandparents/children) from getting the flu, even if you’re at low risk for having serious complications from the flu.
We have three different flu vaccines available, but it is important to remember to get the vaccine available to you that day. Vaccine shopping delays your immunization and increases yours and your family’s risk of contracting the flu virus. ALL FLU VACCINES are safe and effective in protecting against the flu virus. The flu vaccines available this year are high dose senior 65+ dose vaccine and two different standard doses. Don’t forget… the kids! This year Ontario pharmacists are eligible to administer flu shots to children ages 2+!
Another important thing to note, NACI has updated their recommendations and now allow two vaccines, particularly the COVID vaccine, to be administered in one day. So if you need multiple vaccines then don’t wait! Make one appointment to get them in the same day. (There is one type of adjuvanted flu vaccine that needs to be separated by 1 or 2 weeks from the shingles vaccine, so let our pharmacist know if you’ve gotten you shingles vaccine recently!)
For the initial wave of flu vaccines, we are going to be operating by appointment only. Book your vaccine with us by visiting our website www.evergreenrx.ca. You can find the links to book at either Kakabeka or Rosslyn on our home page. Once we move through the first wave of flu shots and things slow down then we will move to a hybrid appointment and walk-in model.
Please remember.. this is a really busy time for us in our pharmacies! If you can, please try to call in your prescription refills at least one day in advance. Wait times can be longer at the beginning of flu season and we appreciate your patience and cooperation! We appreciate you!
PS: Have you seen the action next door on the construction of our new location in Kakabeka?! We get to watch (and hear!) the action all day long.. and it’s music to our ears!