Alberta’s H1N1 vaccination program will open up to the general public on Monday.
Alberta Health Services officials say the end of the national vaccine shortage has allowed them to make the vaccine available to anyone over six months of age.
As of Friday, Alberta had 500,000 doses on hand and will receive regular shipments through December to immunize up to 50,000 people per day.
“We do have lots of vaccine now so there is no hurry for people to come forward,” said Dr. Gerry Predy, Alberta Health Services’ senior medical officer of health, on Friday.
“We just want people to understand there will be lots of opportunity for them to go ahead and get the vaccine.”
Alberta’s immunization program was shut down three weeks ago when crowds stood in line for hours to get vaccinated.
Clinics reopened to people at risk of complications from influenza, and gradually the number of people eligible has been increased. Over 650,000 Albertans have been immunized so far.
If long lineups develop at immunization clinics on Monday, Alberta Health Services will distribute wristbands to those who come out. The bands will indicate what time people can return for immediate service.
On Thursday, just over 41,000 doses were given out and people waited a half hour at most clinics.
Dr. André Corriveau, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said discussions will soon be underway to make the vaccine available at post-secondary institutions, physicians clinics, pharmacies and workplaces.
“We have now a good supply of vaccine and anticipate we will be providing vaccine to other settings within a week or two from now,” Corriveau said.
Clinics in Red Deer will be held:
* Today at Kentwood Alliance Church, 4 Kennedy Drive, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
* Monday at Westerner Park Harvest Centre, 4847A 19th St., 12:30 to 7:30 p.m.
* Tuesday at Westerner Park Harvest Centre, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
* Saturday, Nov. 28, at Kentwood Alliance Church, 4 Kennedy Drive, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more clinic locations and dates, go online to www.albertahealthservices.ca