Swine flu death toll climbs in Alberta, officials urge residents to get shot

Two more people have died in recent days in Alberta after contracting the swine flu, bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 54.

EDMONTON — Two more people have died in recent days in Alberta after contracting the swine flu, bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 54.

Dr. Gerry Predy, the province’s senior medical health officer, says the man and woman from the Edmonton area had underlying health conditions.

He says more than 1,100 people in the province so far have been hospitalized due to H1N1.

Clinics in the province are vaccinating approximately 50,000 people each day and roughly 850,000 people in Alberta have received the swine flu shot.

Dr. Andre Corriveau, the province’s chief medical officer of health, is urging Alberta residents to get vaccinated to avoid a third wave of the illness in the coming months.

Predy says they’re just finalizing the distribution of vaccine to doctors and the shots may be available at physicians’ offices as early as next week.