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Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines Available at Pharmasave Across Canada

More Canadians turning to accessible care at pharmacies for vaccinations & common ailments  

The fall respiratory virus season has arrived, as flu and COVID-19 vaccines roll out to communities across the country. With both immunizations now available at pharmacies in Canada, patients can book an appointment to receive their vaccines from their local Pharmasave.

The recommended vaccines vary based on age, health status and vaccination history. For flu shots, most people should receive the standard-dose vaccine but, depending on province and supply, specific formulations may be available for those 65 and older. Pharmacists can provide guidance about which vaccines are appropriate and if additional adult vaccinations are recommended at the same time.

Anyone who has not had a COVID-19 vaccine in the last six months needs one this fall

Many Canadians are under the assumption that they are still protected by previous COVID-19 vaccinations. Even those who were previously vaccinated more than six months ago should get another COVID-19 immunization this fall unless they have had a known infection in the last six months.

Radio Host Tim Denis of CKTB’s Niagara in the Morning recently invited Pharmasave Pharmacist Sean Simpson to speak with him on the show to discuss the available and recommended vaccines for this fall respiratory virus season. You can listen in on their discussion here to learn more.

As Simpson explains, both flu and COVID-19 immunizations can be administered at the same time, in one appointment where available. It takes about two weeks for the vaccines to provide full protection which is why it is important to get vaccinated as soon as possible, even for those in good health.

Even healthy individuals should take preventative measures, stay up to date with recommended vaccines

One-third of Canadians say they will get the flu shot this year (35%), but four in ten (39%) say they will not, according to survey conducted by Abacus Data on behalf of the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA). When it comes to getting the COVID-19 vaccine, four in ten (41%) say they don’t intend to get one, and just under half (47%) say they will. For those who say they won’t roll up their sleeves this fall, vaccine fatigue could be the reason, with more than half of Canadians (54%) reporting feeling tired of having to get vaccinated.

Pharmasave Pharmacist Jason Chan Remillard spoke with CityNews about what could be contributing to people feeling vaccine fatigue and highlighted the importance of getting vaccinated – even for healthy individuals. The full story on CityNews can be watched here.

Pharmasave pharmacists doing more than just flu shots  

Now more than ever, Canadians are turning to pharmacies for immunizations as well as accessible care for common health concerns. In addition to supporting Canadians to take preventative measures like getting immunized, pharmacists are available to assess and prescribe for common ailments (as permitted by province), counsel patients regarding the safe use of over-the-counter medications for symptom relief and identify possible drug-drug interactions and contraindications in patients with medical conditions or those taking prescription medications.

Jeff Grant, Regional Pharmacy Manager for Pharmasave, recently spoke with the Brandon Sun about pharmacists’ expanded scope of work and their ability to do much more.

“Pharmacists are highly trained and competent professionals and I think it’s being realized that they are not being utilized to their full abilities or using their full knowledge base, but over the last number of years government, patients, people are recognizing that pharmacists have a lot more that they can offer the healthcare system,” Grant tells the Brandon Sun.

More provinces this year granted pharmacists the authority to assess and prescribe treatment for common ailments such as acne, pink eye, cold sores, and urinary tract infections, among others. As a result, in Ontario for example, pharmacists conducted assessments for an average of 1,460 patients each day since the expanded scope of practice began at the start of the year, and in BC, pharmacists conducted an average of 1,125 consultations per day for common ailments and contraception services since June. These patients may have previously needed to book a doctor’s appointment, wait at a walk-in clinic, or visit urgent care or the ER.

The growing scope of pharmacy care is an ongoing effort to enhance primary healthcare access and improve patient experiences and may help alleviate the potential strain on clinics, hospitals, and emergency rooms this fall at a time when they may be managing the additional pressures of severe cases of respiratory illness.

Assessing symptoms, evaluating medication needs, and offering patients recommendations to treat common ailments are part of the care provided by Pharmasave pharmacists every day.

To book an appointment with a pharmacist for immunizations or common ailment treatment, find a local Pharmasave location here.

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