Alberta announces plan to immunize people against seasonal and swine flu

Alberta says it will begin protecting some high-risk people against seasonal flu later this month before starting to immunize people against the swine flu, likely in November.

All Albertans, particularly those at high risk, are being asked to get two flu shots this fall.

In a joint press release issued on Thursday, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Health and Wellness announced that seasonal influenza shots will be made available, free of charge, starting later this month.

Administration of seasonal shots will be temporarily suspended in mid-November, when the two agencies anticipate that the H1N1 shots will become available, said John Tuckwell, communications officer for Alberta Health and Wellness.

In an unusual move, the province has set up a series of mass immunization clinics where people can get their seasonal flu shots. There will be 11 clinics in Red Deer alone, starting on Oct. 26 at Westerner Park’s Harvest Centre.

Clinics have been set up in smaller centres as well and both the seasonal and H1N1 shots will be made available to people living in extended care centres as well as those who are receiving home care.

Clinic schedules for the H1N1 shots are to be announced at the end of this month, said Don Stewart, communications officer with Alberta Health Services.

Detailed information about times and locations of immunization clinics can be found on the Alberta Health Services website, said Stewart. He advised that people go through the links from the home page at albertahealthservices.ca to get their information.

Alberta Health Link at 1-866-408-5465 will also have details, he said. However, officials anticipate that the phone lines will be exceedingly busy and so prefer that people get their information from the website if they are able.

Seasonal and H1N1 shots are being made available for everyone over six months of age. Groups considered most at risk if they contract the flu include:

• People 65 and older;

• People who live in continuing care or designated assisted living;

• Health care workers employed in continued care or designated living centres;

• Children and adults with chronic conditions such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes;

• Expectant mothers;

• Healthy children between six months to two years old.

Tuckwell said H1N1 seems to be causing fewer symptoms among older adults, but cautions that they can still get sick.

Besides immunization, officials recommend a number of practices that can help avoid transmission of the flu virus.

They include washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based cleanser, covering coughs and sneezes with your arm or with a tissue and staying home and resting when symptoms occur.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Alberta hiring more paramedics and buying new ambulances, none for Red Deer

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer is not concerned the provincial government didn’t… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

HALIFAX — The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has resumed normal operations a… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Brothers, 20, face second-degree murder charge in death of teen: police

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police west of Toronto say two brothers have been… Continue reading

A young mayor, his friend, and a fatal attraction to opioids

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

GM fights to retain key tax credit amid plant closing plans

WASHINGTON — General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit… Continue reading

TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto

TORONTO — The union representing transit workers in Canada’s most populous city… Continue reading

Small pot growers find roadblocks on path to microcultivation licences

Yan Boissonneault’s daughter was turning blue. Without warning, his baby had stopped… Continue reading

Most Read