Albertans are encouraged to get an Influenza vaccine free of charge at pharmacies and doctors’ offices across the province, to protect themselves and others against the seasonal illness.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) is also offering immunizations by appointment for those under five years old and those in their household.
“Getting immunized is more important now than ever before. It’s the best way to protect your health and the health of your friends and neighbours. It will also allow our health system to keep focusing on the fight against COVID-19 while we continue safely opening Alberta’s economy,” said Premier Jason Kenney.
As this year’s flu season is anticipated to bring additional challenges as the province responds to COVID-19, immunization will help protect vulnerable Albertans, as well as decrease influenza-related tests, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations during the pandemic.
“The flu shot won’t prevent COVID-19, but it will reduce your chances of getting sick with influenza and spreading it to others. While getting immunized helps, it’s also crucial to wash your hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home when sick. If you have flu symptoms, book a test for COVID-19 as symptoms are similar. Let’s all do our part to keep one another safe,” said the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
This year, 1.96 million doses of vaccine have been ordered to help protect the health of Albertans.
“We’ve purchased a record amount of vaccine and made changes to ensure that getting your flu shot is as safe and easy as possible. By keeping cases of influenza low, we can make sure our health-care system can keep responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and all the other healthcare needs that Albertans face every day,” said the Minister of Health, Tyler Shandro.
To ensure the spread of COVID-19 is limited, and COVID-19 guidelines are implemented, the province has shifted this year’s approach from large public health clinics administering the Influenza vaccine, to direct support by appointment through AHS, pharmacies, and doctors’ offices.
Pharmacists and physician offices throughout the province are now offering the vaccine to all Albertans five years of age and older.
AHS is also now offering the vaccine through pre-booked appointments for children under five, their family and household members.
A high-dose influenza vaccine is also being directly offered to residents who are 65 years and older in provincially funded long-term care facilities.
To find out more about Influenza immunization and to book an appointment at a public health clinic, visit ahs.ca/influenza.
For additional information, please visit, https://www.alberta.ca/influenza-the-flu.aspx#toc-3.