It’s that time of the year again: flu season. The province kicked off its influenza vaccine campaign this week and on Tuesday, the first open public clinic in Lethbridge was held.
Alberta saw just over 5,300 lab-confirmed cases of the flue last year, including nearly 1,700 hospitalizations. Sixty-two people died of the flu in Alberta last year.
Only about 27 per cent of Albertans were immunized during the 2015-2016 flu season, a number which health officials hope to see climb.
Community leaders were some of the first in line to get their vaccinations, saying the vaccine is less about protecting themselves and more about protecting others.
“It’s important that I don’t become a person who’s the source of infection in our community,” Mayor Chris Spearman said. “Also, as a leader in our community, to demonstrate the best practices when it comes to health and disease prevention.”
Jason Vandenhoek, the executive director of the Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation, said because he works in the hospital, a vaccination is more important than ever.
“There’s people at the hospital who can’t be vaccinated,” Vandenhoek said. “I think it’s all of our part to make sure that we’re vaccinated to protect the vulnerable population as well.”
As soon as the doors opened at 10 a.m., a steady line formed at Exhibition Park. It was the first of four sessions to be hosted at the main pavilion over the next two weeks. The clinic will be open again:
- Thursday, Oct. 27 – 1o a.m. to 3 p.m
- Tuesday, Nov. 1 – 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 8 – 3 p.m to 7 p.m.
You can find more information on the influenza vaccine by visiting Alberta Health Services website.