SHA prepares for a possible joint flu / COVID season

The possibility of a second wave of COVID 19 interfering with flu season is a concern of the Saskatchewan Health Authority. While they’re not yet sure what effects both will have at the same time, the logic makes sense that it wouldn’t be good.

This is why the SHA is making additional preparations this year to try to slow the flu so that hospital beds remain open for those suffering from COVID 19. Dr. Tania Dinner of the Mental Health Association (SHA) says they hope to follow a trend in other countries as the flu hits the season.

“We really hope it will be more common this year at the national level as well as at the provincial level where more vaccines have been ordered compared to previous years. We have also looked at the Southern Hemisphere to see what the uptake of the vaccine is there and in some countries, they have already seen an increase of up to 40% in The first few weeks, so we definitely have more vaccinations available compared to previous seasons. “

While the relationship between COVID and influenza in a person’s immune system at the same time is still prevalent, there is one confirmed relationship that is hospital beds. Plenty of rural health care facilities across the province have been closed to the public in the event of an increased need for beds for a coronavirus family.

In hindsight, SHA doesn’t plan to close healthcare facilities for now but wants to avoid filling the beds unnecessarily.

“We are really trying to avoid this“ dual pandemic. ”We see our influenza vaccination campaign almost as a COVID strategy because we have something (vaccine) against influenza. We can vaccinate people, and by accepting people, they can either avoid getting the flu or if they catch it … may Be less severe than. So by preserving our health care facilities, we should see an increase in COVID cases by immunizing people against influenza, that will go a long way. So we are really seeing flu vaccination this year as part of our strategy on Coronavirus. ” .

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Each county health district will have a different way of dealing with flu season, so the rules that any of them make when it comes to flu clinics. However, there are some plans put in place and they will look a little different.

“The first thing is that if you have the symptoms of the flu or COVID-19 because they are so similar, we really don’t want you to attend one of these vaccination clinics. This is when you should call 811 and get an evaluation and get tested if that’s appropriate. However, if you come to our clinics, we will make sure that there is social distancing, and hide where it is. People need to wait 15 minutes after that, so even during that time period, we need to make sure people are safe. So I really want to make sure that When people come to our public health clinics across the province, we will ensure that social distancing is in place and people disguise appropriately. ”

This year it is strongly encouraged that children, the elderly, pregnant women, or anyone with health conditions receive the flu vaccine this year.

The main thing this year is for people to keep calm. If you are experiencing symptoms of the flu or COVID 19, don’t panic, call 811 and follow the appropriate steps.

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