Seasonal Influenza Vaccinations Trending Higher

Farmscape for December 10, 2020

Full Interview 7:53 Listen

A veterinary pathologist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine reports numbers of people being vaccinated for influenza appear to be trending higher this year. Numbers of cases of influenza tend to peak in November December before dropping in January and then peaking a second time in March April. This year, as the result of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, numbers of cases of influenza have been low. Dr. Susan Detmer, an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathology with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says flu vaccines were delivered a little later than usual this year but activity has been brisk.

Clip-Dr. Susan Detmer-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
We’re hoping for higher than normal. In most years it’s between 20 to 30 percent.
In a high year we might get 40 percent of the population vaccinated in Canada. We’re shooting for a little bit higher than that because, with the COVID situation we want to make sure that influenza stays low and we don’t want our respiratory illnesses to be complicated with both influenza and COVID at the same time. So far there have not been hospitalizations for influenza because it’s been so low right now.
They’re shooting for about 50 percent, 40 to 50 percent of the people being vaccinated but, so far, we’re looking at 25 percent or more have been vaccinated.

The numbers of vaccines vary by who’s reporting, who needs more but we do want to see a larger portion of the population vaccinated than we would typically see and so far, we’ve been moving towards that based on the numbers that have come in.

Dr. Detmer says vaccines are still available and they will be available until March.
She says people have been able to get same day service by vising pharmacies that are not typically as busy as others or by coming in at slower times of the day.

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