Vaccines are the most important thing for many who talk about illnesses during the flu season, and many were also talking about a nasal spray variant that makes the experience quick and easy.
However, in reality, no nasal spray vaccines are offered, says Bev Unger, Regional Manager of Public Health and Healthy Living. The flu season can be a difficult time for many, and some get vaccinated earlier in the season, others wait to see how frequent the flu is, but everyone is looking for a convenient way to fight seasonal “bugs.”
“In previous years, there was a nasal flu vaccine that was available to the pediatric population. It would be administered by a sprit for each nostril. In this last flu season, in 2019/2020, that vaccine was not available in Canada, and the only flu vaccine that was available in Canada was the type that would be injected. “
According to the province, during the 2019/2020 flu season, the number of residents who were vaccinated with the seasonal influenza vaccine was up to 24.8 percent. Unger says that in previous years, the figure is close to 22 percent, but in the Southern Health region, rates never reach the provincial average.
In our RHA, says Unger, according to preliminary reports, the number of people immunized is about 18 percent, 2 percent higher than the norm, but adds that Southern Health continues to encourage immunizations and raise awareness about seasonal influenza
Part of that awareness is informing when is the best time to get vaccinated.
“The best time is at the beginning of autumn, so we usually have the flu vaccine at our disposal in mid or late October. October / November is the ideal time to get a flu shot, the reasons we want to immunize to people before viruses appear to circulate. Your body needs some time to respond to the vaccine and generate antibodies so that when they are exposed to the flu, their body has the ability to fight the disease. “
With the increase in immunizations this year, Unger says the amount of vaccines had been a bit low. She notes that RHA anticipates what the demand will be based on early vaccination rates. If people start wanting to get vaccinated during the middle or at the end of the flu season, it can make it difficult to meet unexpected demand.
If anyone is still looking to receive a flu vaccine, you can visit your local pharmacist or clinic to see if it is available. Unger encourages anyone, as young as seven years old, to get vaccinated against the flu early so they can get the root flu.