May 29, 2024


Great Health is a Choice

Pharmacist talks vaccine, antiviral options amid COVID, flu season

Considering the fact that Sept. 1, 2,283 COVID-19 and 131 flu scenarios have been confirmed across the Simcoe-Muskoka area

The coughing, the sneezing, the runny noses.

These are the all-way too-familiar sounds and sights of the nearby pharmacy at this time of the yr. But Rexall pharmacist Linda Yang says that, with the good safeguards, you can strengthen your odds of preventing the respiratory sicknesses that are circulating in Simcoe County right now. 

“In this unique area, it hasn’t been as well poor,” she reported while sitting lately in close proximity to the prescription fall-off desk at her Stroud pharmacy

The Simcoe Muskoka District Wellness Unit’s newest weekly respiratory virus update, published on Dec. 27, notes there have been 36 confirmed scenarios of influenza noted in the Simcoe-Muskoka region involving Dec. 17 and 23, down from 41 the 7 days prior. In the meantime, 160 COVID-19 situations had been observed previous week, a lower from the 198 verified involving Dec. 10 and 16.

Since Sept. 1, 2,283 COVID-19 instances have been noted in the region. A total of 131 flu scenarios, 92 per cent of which had been strain A, were being verified in the course of that time.

The health and fitness unit says its COVID-19 local community hazard stage for infection and severe ailment in Simcoe-Muskoka at the moment sits at “high.” This document demonstrates wastewater indicators are at a “very high” transmission amount, there’s a rolling regular of 25 new circumstances being described for every day right now and the weekly exam positivity amount is 18.6 for each cent. 5 COVID-19 outbreaks were declared in institutional configurations among Dec. 17 and 23, and 35 folks were being in clinic with the virus on Dec. 21. 

There have been 150 lab-confirmed institutional respiratory outbreaks in the area because the commencing of September — 112 especially linked to COVID-19, 8 linked to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and two traced again to the flu. The relaxation are because of to both some combination of those people viruses or an “other or unknown” pathogen.

Respiratory syndromes accounted for 13.7 for every cent of the just about 1,100 visits to unexpected emergency departments at 6 regional hospitals very last 7 days.

Nonetheless, there are some timeless strategies to stay safe and sound and lower the hazard of infection at this time of the year, the well being unit stated in a the latest update on its web page. Amongst people are a lot of of the identical tips provided for the duration of pandemic yrs earlier — keep house if you are unwell, cleanse your arms normally, include your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and think about donning a properly-equipped mask in indoor configurations, especially all-around anyone at bigger threat for intense infection.

And, of training course, get vaccinated.

“As we gather with buddies and family members above the vacations it is significant to use multiple levels of security to cut down the threat of becoming ill and protect individuals closest to us,” the overall health device suggests. “This is specially essential for … small children underneath 5 several years of age as very well as older grown ups and those with underlying clinical ailments.”

Numerous Rexall pharmacies offer you walk-in appointments for COVID-19 and flu shots, and those people vaccines can be administered at the exact same time, Yang stated.

“It’s been non-quit (flu vaccinations),” she stated. “Right now, because so quite a few people have been finding their shots, flu is quite controlled correct now. There could be a great deal of other respiratory illnesses going — in particular in the final three weeks, there is been a thing going all over. It could be COVID. I’m not likely to say you have to use your mask as very long as you are geared up and have your vaccines, you’re great to go.”

The COVID-19 immunization marketing campaign desires all the advertising it can get. Considering the fact that Sept. 17, a lot more than 96,500 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Simcoe-Muskoka, with only 14.8 per cent of the region’s populace acquiring obtained a shot in the course of that time.

But if you get unwell, know that pharmacies across Ontario can prescribe Paxlovid for COVID-19 and they are also now offering oseltamivir (Tamiflu), an antiviral treatment, to people at the very least a single year outdated with moderate, early-phase influenza A or B. This go is pivotal in running the affect of flu viruses in the course of the colder months, especially on vulnerable populations like these who are immunocompromised or pregnant, or any individual living with diabetic issues, cancer or cardiovascular ailments.

And pharmacists are now authorized to prescribe Tamiflu, thus easing the pressure on hospitals and the broader healthcare program.

“You can only simply call into the pharmacy for it if your symptoms started out within two times by Day 2, you need to be contacting in to get that prescription,” Yang reported. “That’s quite crucial. If you acquire it after that, it could possibly not operate as well.”

Any individual with a fever of additional than 40.5 levels Celsius, or who is encountering lethargy or other intense indicators, most likely will not qualify for the drug and should alternatively see a physician, she claimed.

Tamiflu performs equally to Paxlovid by serving to to minimize virus indicators, Yang said.

“You cease the virus in its tracks,” she said, “kind of like how you acquire antibiotics for infections. It is great that Ontario’s stepping up and allowing pharmacists prescribe this. (But) we never want to be giving people medicines when it is too late — we want people today to get the flu shot so they really don’t feel ill in the first position.”

For a entire checklist of up-to-date health unit recommendations, check out

To uncover a regional Rexall pharmacy, or for more details on COVID-19 and flu vaccinations or the administration of antivirals, pay a visit to