COVID-19 cases are rapidly increasing across Alberta, including on Siksika Nation, according to the latest wastewater sampling data, collected by the University of Calgary (see the graph for local Siksika Nation wastewater sampling information). Historically this type of increase has preceded a rise in serious illnesses and hospitalizations.
Siksika Health medical experts and the supporting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Chris Sarin are also expecting a severe flu season this year. COVID-19, Influenza, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) cases have continued rising steadily across Alberta since late September.
There is also growing evidence that children with respiratory viruses such as influenza and RSV are being seen in hospital emergency rooms in very high numbers across Canada and Alberta. And while flu and COVID-19 symptoms are similar, they are caused by two different viruses and require two different vaccines to protect and prevent serious outcomes.
Siksika Health Services strongly encourages all Siksika Nation members to receive all vaccine doses they are eligible for as soon as possible. Unfortunately, at this time we are also seeing low uptake of both COVID-19 booster shots and flu vaccines amongst our Nation members. The newest COVID vaccines, known as “bivalent vaccines” now offers coverage against the Omicron variant and are more effective than previous vaccines at preventing illness against the newer strains. This is why it is so important to have “booster” vaccines for full coverage against current strains of the virus. Siksika: getting immunized is proven to be the most effective way to protect yourself and others from severe outcomes related to these illnesses. Remember: you can get both the COVID and influenza vaccine at the same time. Protect yourself, your family and your community: get immunized!
Where to get vaccinated
COVID-19 immunization and flu shots are available for Siksika Nation members and community members from the surrounding areas on a walk-in basis:
Vaccines currently available:
*it’s important to wait 5 months after a COVID-19 infection before getting your next dose