Sept. 28, 2020

Flu season is upon us

UCalgary flu clinic on campus Oct. 19-23

Canada’s flu season will be very different this year as it collides with the COVID-19 pandemic. Both respiratory illnesses share many of the same symptoms such as fever, cough and chest discomfort. As the flu seasons begins, it will be difficult to distinguish between the two, and this could lead to overloading the health-care system, as well as COVID-19 testing centres.

“We need to remember that the flu hospitalizes and kills thousands of Canadians each year. We don’t want to be spreading it,” says Dr. Craig Jenne, PhD, infectious diseases expert at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine. “Luckily we have a vaccine to prevent the flu, unlike COVID, which has no vaccine yet, we have an effective way to deal with the flu.”

Jenne recommends people seriously consider getting the flu vaccine this year to prevent illness. “If you have any symptoms or feel unwell, you will have to stay home. It’s going to be difficult to figure out what respiratory illness you have unless you get a COVID test,” says Jenne. “This will lead to much anxiety, and time away from work and school”.

Flu vaccines on campus

Any faculty or staff members interested in getting vaccinated on campus can sign up for a free flu vaccine. This year’s clinic will look a bit different as there will be a touchless registration system and appointments will be spaced out to allow for physical distancing. All attendees will have to book an appointment, and wear a face covering. In addition, Staff Wellness is asking those who book an appointment to download a bar code to their phones or print a barcode to show at the vaccine clinic.

UCalgary’s flu clinic will be at Foothills campus Oct. 19 and 20, and on main campus Oct. 21, 22, and 23. Flu vaccination is one of the best ways to prevent flu illness.