Vaccination campaign off to ‘reasonable start’

The threat of getting the flu motivated more than 30,000 Central Albertans to get vaccinated so far this season.

The threat of getting the flu motivated more than 30,000 Central Albertans to get vaccinated so far this season.

A total of 30,056 people in Alberta Health Services Central Zone were immunized during the first four days of the province’s annual influenza immunization campaign that started Oct. 20.

“I think that’s a reasonable start,” said Dr. Digby Horne, medical officer of health for Alberta Health Services Central Zone, on Monday.

Across the province, 279,238 doses of the vaccine were administered at AHS flu immunization clinics, pharmacies and doctors offices.

In Alberta, 30 cases of influenza A have been confirmed by labs, including two cases in Central Zone.

Only five lab-confirmed cases of influenza B have been reported in Alberta and all five occurred in Central Zone.

Horne said the incidence of influenza B in Central Zone was more likely due to low reporting participation in other zones during the first week of the campaign.

“We’re not aware of any special trends at this time.”

Out of the 11 Albertans who have been admitted to hospital with lab-confirmed flu, three were in Central Zone.

No flu-related deaths were reported in the province.

Horne said there is still lots of opportunity for people to get immunized and they should get it done before early December.

For information on upcoming immunization clinics visit www.albertahealthservices.ca/influenza.asp.

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