The Northern Inter Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) is encouraging people in the north to keep their vaccines up to date.

The northern health authority is now offering both seasonal flu shots and COVID-19 immunizations to people in their communities.

NITHA Medical Health Officer Dr. Nambdi Ndubuka explained the vaccines are available in all 33 of their communities. He said the latest COVID vaccine targets the virus’s latest variant.

“We’re fortunate that this vaccine will be available to all residents within our northern communities,” he said.

The NITHA medical health officer also explained that it is safe for people to get both their COVID and seasonal flu shots at the same time.

NITHA has been gradually rolling out the vaccines in their communities since Oct. 3. Ndubuka said so far they are pleased with the rollout of the shots, adding that uptake has been good for both of them.

“So far we’ve received information that the uptake have been very good, including amongst children, who are eligible as well as the seniors and the pregnant women,” he said.

Ndubuka was not able to provide firm numbers in regards to the number vaccines which have gone into people’s arms, but said some communities had quickly gone through their initial supplies.

NITHA has been working to promote vaccine uptake in a number ways, by advertising the availability of vaccines on radio and also promoting them on social media. Ndubuka said vaccines along with other measures like practicing good hand hygiene and people staying home when they are sick play an important role in terms of preventative health care. He added getting or keeping up with vaccinations is a good way to protect communities.

“We all have a collective responsibility to keep our friends, our families and our work mates safe by getting our flu shots, getting our COVID-19 booster shots,” he said.

(Photo courtesy of Government of Saskatchewan.)