A large segment of Saskatchewan’s population will again have access to influenza immunizations, following the arrival of a shipment of FluMist vaccine.
As of Wednesday, Saskatchewan is expanding availability of vaccine to all people between two and 59 years of age who are eligible to receive FluMist. The province has received a shipment of 107,000 doses of FluMist nasal vaccine, confirmed it is in good order, and begun the process of distributing it to health regions.
Saskatchewan’s remaining supplies of injectable vaccine are being reserved for infants, pregnant women and persons with compromised immune systems. Injectable vaccine will also now be made available to residents 60 and over, supplies permitting. More injectable vaccine is expected in early February, and will be used for persons who are unable to get vaccinated with FluMist.
“We encourage Saskatchewan people to be vaccinated to protect themselves from illness due to influenza,” Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer Denise Werker said. “Our goal is to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.”
FluMist contains the same influenza strains as other flu vaccines used in the northern hemisphere this influenza season, including the H1N1 strain. It is licensed for use in Canada for people from two to 59 years of age.
It is not recommended for children under two, pregnant women and people who are immune-compromised. FluMist is also not recommended for health care workers who provide care to patients with severe immune-compromised conditions who require hospitalization in a protective environment.