People swamp Calgary flu clinics

CALGARY — Alberta Health Services is boosting the number of nurse stations at its three remaining H1N1 mass clinics in Calgary after residents flocked to get the shot on the weekend.

CALGARY — Alberta Health Services is boosting the number of nurse stations at its three remaining H1N1 mass clinics in Calgary after residents flocked to get the shot on the weekend.

Lengthy lineups resulted in hundreds of Calgarians being turned away hours before the clinics were set to close on the weekend.

AHS spokeswoman Erin Marteniuk said there has been an increase in the number of people coming to the clinics for the vaccination.

Dr. Trevor Theman, registrar for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, said some physicians who have applied for the H1N1 vaccine are offering it at their offices.

He’s encouraging all Albertans to get the shot, saying it’s not too late and could prevent a third wave of the virus, which has been projected by health officials.

Whether the mass H1N1 flu clinics will reopen in the new year remains to be seen.

“The potential for another wave depends on what proportion of the population gets vaccinated,” said Theman.

More than 460,000 Albertans have been vaccinated while at least 66 people in the province have died from the virus.

The increase in demand came after the deaths of otherwise healthy 16-year-old Calgarian Mike Gorbous and a 35-year-old city man, although health officials weren’t able to say if there was a direct correlation.