How to stay protected this flu season


author: taylor balfour | news writer

Down with the sickness / jeremy davis

The ins and outs of getting your free flu shot

If you’ve been milling around the University of Regina for any period of time, you’re bound to have seen the neon yellow posters pinned up with the words “free drop in flu vaccination clinics,” as a header.

“UofR Health, Safety & Wellness invites all students, faculty/staff (including families) & volunteers to attend one of these clinics:” and list the dates of Oct. 22, 30 and Nov. 7, all provided with the help of Alliance Health.

The reminders attached at the bottom of the poster say to bring a Health Card, and can either be from Saskatchewan or another province, and also remind attendees to wear short sleeves.

Students may also remember being sent around a handful of emails by Student Affairs, discussing “staying protected this flu season” with the help of Rexall, the company in partnership with the Studentcare Pharmacy Network.

If a student misses out on the chances campus is offering for a flu shot, Studentcare states, “You can get a pharmacist-administered flu shot at any Rexall location without even having to make an appointment.”

However, Rexall states that students from “out of province may need to pay a small fee.”

While Saskatchewan has several Rexall locations, Regina itself only has one: a location on Albert Street. Still, however, when arriving at this location, attendees need to ensure that they have health cards on their person.

Flu shots aren’t all that Rexall gives students. By having a plan, which is included in tuition costs, students get to save “up to 50 per cent off your out-of-pocket costs (up to a max of $40)” when at a Rexall pharmacy. Students also get “20 per cent off on regularly priced Rexall brand products” and are able to get some “medications delivered for free right to your door.”

Rexall’s services are useful for students, especially at this point in the semester.

At the end of March 2018, the Saskatchewan government released a “Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report,” which highlighted that there were 41 lab-confirmed influenza cases during the week of March 31. This is in comparison to 3207 lab-confirmed cases since Sep. 2017.

The stats also show that December is the rate of the highest risk of illness. In Dec. 2017, there were 272 lab-confirmed cases, while in March 2018, that number dropped to 41. The study also reported that since September 2017, there have been “48 ICU admissions,” and “13 deaths,” thanks to influenza.

Also reported was that there were only two reported cases of influenza in long-term care facilities, compared to 80 since Sep. 2017.

While flu season is around the corner, students and faculty should be lucky that flu vaccines have come around at the perfect time. Be sure to protect yourself from influenza this season, especially before finals come in full swing.

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