Health experts are encouraging people to get the flu vaccination. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
Health experts are encouraging people to get the flu vaccination. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Get vaccinated before flu season

By Lifestyle reporter Time of article published Apr 14, 2020

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The flu season typically occurs in South Africa between May and September each year. Annual vaccination is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to optimise immunity against circulating influenza strains.

WHO estimates that worldwide, annual flu epidemics result in as many as five million cases of severe illness, and about 290 000 to 650 000 deaths.

According to the National Department of Health, flu kills between 6 000 to 11 000 South Africans every year, About 50 percent of those deaths are among the elderly, and about 30 percent in HIV-infected people.

As concerns grow about the spread of Covid-19, medical experts are encouraging more South Africans to get the flu vaccine.

Since March, Clicks has seen an increased demand for flu vaccinations, administering over four times more vaccinations than the same period last year. With vulnerable groups such as the elderly, immuno-compromised, pregnant women and children being prioritised, the demand has been driven as customers make every effort to boost their immune systems and protect themselves from the flu.

According to Clicks Chief Store Operations Officer Sedick Arendse, the retail pharmacy chain has increased their coverage and have been able to meet the demand by training an additional 200 pharmacists to administer vaccines and by providing dedicated nurses at high-traffic stores.

“We are really proud of our Clinic and Pharmacy teams and thank them for working long hours to ensure our customers get the essential healthcare they need during these uncertain times,” Arendse says.

He said that flu vaccine stock is still available at 400 stores nationwide.

To book an appointment for a flu vaccination, call 0860 254 257 or visit www.clicks.co.za/fighttheflu.

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