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Flu shots still available

Flu sufferers over the holiday season could have avoided their aches and pains if only they had been immunized.

“Fortunately for us this time the strains out there are very similar to the antigens in the vaccine so the vaccine is a very good match for the strains circulating,” said Dr. Ifeoma Achebe, a chief medical officer of health for Alberta Health Services Central Zone, on Thursday.

“People could still benefit from vaccination if they haven’t been immunized yet.”

As of Dec. 15, almost 48,000 Central Albertans were immunized, which is a very low rate, she said.

And Achebe said she can’t predict if it will be a short or long season.

“This year, the flu season came a bit earlier and we’re seeing a lot of cases.”

In the Central Zone, 141 cases of flu have been confirmed since Aug. 29.

Achebe said people with flu symptoms should stay home to prevent further spread of the virus.

Immunization is available at Red Deer Johnstone Crossing Community Health Centre, at 300 Jordan Parkway. For an appointment, call 403-356-6300.

Visit www.albertahealthservices.ca/influenza.asp or call Health Link Alberta at 1-866-408-5465 (LINK) for more information on the flu.

szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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