It’s that time of year to get your flu shot.
The government of Alberta announced Friday that influenza vaccine will be arriving at pharmacies and doctors’ offices across the province this week.
Minister of Health Tyler Shandro says getting your flu shot is one of the best things you can do to protect your health and the health of your community.
“I encourage all Albertans to join me in getting immunized this season by visiting their local pharmacy, or doctor’s office or an Alberta Health Services public clinic.”
At pharmacies, immunization is free to all Albertans over the age of five – while public clinics and some doctors’ offices are offering free shots to those six months or older.
President of the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association Darren Erickson notes that over the past 10 years, Alberta pharmacists have become the single largest provider of influenza vaccine to Albertans.
“As front- line health-care providers, one of our primary roles is to help people stay healthy. Vaccination protects the most vulnerable people in our communities and decreases costly emergency room visits and hospitalizations; it’s another way pharmacists help keep Albertans healthy.”
Last year, there were 52 deaths among hospitalized patients across the province – with 2 of those deaths occurring in the North Zone – which includes the RMWB.
That’s compared to 92 deaths in 2017-18 – which included 10 in the North Zone.
In addition, there were 7,698 lab-confirmed cases of influenza last year – compared to 9,609 cases in 2017-18.
The province notes large clinics will be providing immunization starting next Monday.
To find out when flu shots are available – you can check with your doctor, local pharmacy, by calling Health Link at 811 or by visiting ahs.ca/influenza.