Dr. Shovita Padhi is not only the deputy medical health officer responsible for vaccine in Saskatoon Health Region, including influenza vaccine, but she has a personal interest in getting influenza vaccine. “Back in 2009, I was one of those Canadians (who) contracted h1N1 before a vaccine was made available,” she explained to media at a news conference about the influenza vaccination campaign earlier this week. “I was healthy prior to getting infected with the flu. This bug knocked me out for two weeks. I was in bed. It was the sickest I’ve ever been in my life .” Padhi notes it was nearly four months before she fully recovered from the illness. Oct_23_influenza

Padhi launched the 2013-14 influenza vaccine season with her story as reporters listened intently. She emphasized the importance of everyone getting a flu shot this year: “Flu occurs the most in children, and serious disease and death occurs in those 65 years and over and those with chronic medical conditions.” Padhi emphasizes that even those who don’t feel sick could be carrying the influenza virus and spread to other, more vulnerable people.

Influenza immunization is available to all members of the public at clinics throughout the Region, and to Saskatoon Health Region staff through their occupational health and safety offices. The vaccine is free again this year.

Dr. Shovita Padhi is among those receiving their influenza vaccine this week at clinics around Saskatoon Health Region.

Dr. Shovita Padhi is among those receiving their influenza vaccine this week at clinics around Saskatoon Health Region.

As Shovita Padhi wrapped up her comments, she reminded people that holiday season is just around the corner and that a flu vaccine can help everyone enjoy themselves in the coming months. She then got her flu vaccine.

View a video of the news conference.