More Sask. people seeking flu shots as COVID cases soar past last year's flu numbers

Saskatchewan's Ministry of Health says more people are seeking influenza immunizations this year. Last flu season, the province reported 2,547 flu cases and 15 deaths total.

2,547 flu cases, 15 deaths total reported last influenza season 

As of Nov. 7, about 252,033 doses of the influenza immunization have been administered by public health, First Nations, pharmacists and physicians across Saskatchewan. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

More Saskatchewan people are getting the flu shot this year, according to the provincial Ministry of Health. 

As of Nov. 7, an estimated 252,033 doses were administered throughout the province by public health, First Nations, pharmacists and other providers.

A Ministry spokesperson said there could be some delays in reporting final numbers because of the large number of people seeking immunizations. 

"It is important to note that we are still early in the influenza season, and while it is ideal for people to get vaccinated early, clinics are scheduled into December," the spokesperson said in an email. 

COVID blasts past last year's flu numbers

Some people are denying the seriousness of COVID-19, suggesting it's similar to the flu, Dr. Ayisha Kurji, a Saskatoon pediatrician and University of Saskatchewan assistant professor of pediatrics, told CBC News

"There are also those who think this is no worse than influenza. It is so much worse. We also have patients who have respiratory symptoms who think it's just a cold," Kurji said.

She called for more public education to break these myths. 

Last year, the province reported 2,547 total confirmed lab cases for the influenza season from Sept. 1, 2019 to March 21, 2020. Fifteen deaths were reported and 36 people were admitted to the ICU because of the flu.

As of Tuesday, Saskatchewan had reported 5,422 known cases of COVID-19 in the province since its first presumptive positive case on March 12. Thirty-one deaths have been reported and 64 Saskatchewan residents have been admitted to ICUs with COVID-19.

(CBC News Graphics)

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with files from Emma Kramer-Rodger, Adam Hunter


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