With the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the flu vaccine is more important than ever. Yukon’s influenza vaccine will be available starting on Monday, October 19, with the first week aimed at those most vulnerable to complications from influenza. These include Yukon residents with chronic medical conditions, as well as those over 65, pregnant women, and young children.
Vaccines will be available for the general public as of Monday, October 26. Due to COVID-19, clinics will be different in order to ensure proper safety precautious are taken. The vaccine is safe and available to everyone over the age of six months free of charge through local health centres in the communities, and the Coast High Country Inn Convention Centre, located at 4051 Fourth Avenue in Whitehorse. In addition, certain pharmacists within Whitehorse will be offering flu shots this year.
This fall and winter, flu viruses and COVID-19 may both spread. It is more important than ever that Yukoners do everything they can to protect themselves and others from all respiratory illnesses, including the flu. We encourage Yukoners to prevent what they can by getting the flu vaccine this year.
Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley
This year more than ever, we encourage Yukoners to take action by getting their flu shot. The flu shot is free and available to anyone over the age of six months. Getting the flu shot and keeping vaccinations up to date will help reduce the risk of illness that can be caused by seasonal influenza.
Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost
Yukon has received its full shipment of injection-style flu vaccine, and flumist, a flu vaccine nasal spray.
Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19. Getting the flu shot and keeping vaccinations up to date will reduce your risk of becoming ill.
Individuals over the age of 65 or at risk for pneumococcal infection are encouraged to get the Pneumococcal 23 vaccine if they have not yet received it.
Influenza can cause serious illness and hospitalization among those with chronic conditions.
In healthy individuals, influenza symptoms are generally mild to moderate. In more serious cases, symptoms can include rapid onset of high fever, cough, sore throat, aches, pains and chills.
The vaccine is free and safe and it takes about two weeks for the influenza vaccine to become effective, so the best time to be vaccinated in Yukon is as soon as the vaccine becomes available.
This year we recommend that people wear a non-medical mask while in the flu clinic, but this is not mandatory. People who do not have a mask will still be provided with an influenza vaccine.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, flu clinics will be different this year. For more information on what to expect and how to prepare for this year’s flu clinics visit: https://yukon.ca/en/find-flu-shot-clinic
People who suspect they have the flu should stay home and should call 811 to see if they need to be tested for COVID-19.
Do not go to flu clinics if you are feeling sick and have any symptoms of COVID-19. Call 811 or go to the COVID Testing Centre (CTC) to get tested. There will be other opportunities to get your flu shot.