With flu season on the horizon, the sore muscles, fatigue and fever that come with it won’t be far behind for many. But for many, a visit with your Bashaw Pharmasave pharmacist could go a long way to helping you stay well!
Based on reports from the Southern Hemisphere, which often predict the flu season we can expect here in Alberta, this year may be a bad one for influenza, says Bashaw Pharmasave pharmacist and owner, Eric Gaudet.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
Our province recommends the flu shot for all people over six months of age or older, but especially for those who live or work around young children, seniors and those with compromised immune systems, Gaudet says, noting the vaccine is provided for free at the pharmacy. In Alberta, pharmacists are licensed to provide the immunization to everyone age five and older. You can make an appointment or walk-in, which makes it easy to get the vaccine at your convenience.
How can you make your flu shot easier? Aim to get the vaccine when you’re feeling healthy and well, Gaudet suggests, and of course, short sleeves always make the process simpler!
While side effects are typically minimal, some experience a sore arm or fatigue following the vaccine.
Just how effective a flu shot will be against this year’s strains is unknown until the season actually arrives, and of course, the shot does not protect against the common cold or a gastro-intestinal “flu” which isn’t really influenza at all.
“That means you always want to practice good hand-washing hygiene, and keep hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth,” Gaudet notes.
And of course, “if you’re sick, stay home.”
How do you know if it’s the flu?
Expect quick-onset symptoms, such as fever, muscle aches, headache and sometimes a cough, which in some cases can lead to much more serious health complications.
A cold will typically come on more slowly with a sore throat and stuffy nose.
Regardless of what bug is causing you to feel ill, Gaudet and his team at Bashaw Pharmasave can help you treat your symptoms and feel more comfortable while you rest and get well.
Improved patient care
While your Bashaw Pharmasave pharmacist is always available to answer questions about flu prevention or symptom management, Gaudet and his team are also keen to improve the overall experience of all patients in their care.
That means taking the time to discuss any questions or concerns their patients have and conducting a comprehensive review of all medications and supplements they are taking, in order to create a care plan that addresses their goals of care.
For those patients who regularly take certain medications or take multiple medications, they’ve also launched a synchronization plan so that all your medications come up for renewal at the same time, meaning fewer trips to the pharmacy just to refill your prescriptions.
And your Bashaw Pharmasave pharmacist will also contact you several weeks before prescriptions are due for renewal, so all you have to do is come by and pick them up!
“We’ve had really good feedback about the program,” Gaudet says. “We really just want to take the pain out of refilling prescriptions.”