With temperature dropping, Alberta prepares for flu season

Click to play video: 'Albertans can access flu shots Oct. 15' Albertans can access flu shots Oct. 15
WATCH ABOVE: Alberta Health Services will be offering influenza vaccines a little earlier than usual this year. Su-Ling Goh has more in her Health Matters segment – Oct 1, 2018

Albertans will be able to start receiving the flu shot in a couple of weeks. The province has announced public flu vaccine clinics will open on Oct. 15.

The province wants to see an increase in the 1.2 million Alberta residents who received an immunization last season.

“Getting immunized provides the best protection against influenza,” Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said. “With seniors, young children and Albertans with compromised immunity especially susceptible, I encourage everyone to get the flu vaccine to protect not only yourself, but others at risk of getting sick.”

READ MORE: Flu shots available in Alberta starting Oct. 23; AHS not offering nasal spray

Pharmacists can now offer the flu shot to people five years and older; previously, pharmacists weren’t permitted to provide the shot to Albertans nine years old or younger.

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Albertans six months of age and older will once again be able to receive a free influenza vaccine.

“It’s important even for adult Albertans to get their annual flu shot,” deputy medical officer of Health Kristin Klein said. “When people get immunized, they protect not only themselves, but also people around them who may be more vulnerable, such as seniors, young children, pregnant women and those with existing health conditions.”

The FluLaval Tetra influenza vaccine quadrivalent available Oct. 15, 2018 in Alberta. Dave Carels, Global News
The Fluzone Quadrivalent influenza vaccine available Oct. 15, 2018 in Alberta. Dave Carels, Global News

Alberta Health Services recommends children under nine years old getting an influenza vaccine for the first time receive two doses of vaccine.

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READ MORE: What happens to your body when you get the flu, step by step

AHS said there were 10 lab-confirmed cases of influenza reported in Alberta between Aug. 26 and Sept. 22.

There were 92 deaths with confirmed influenza during the 2017-18 flu season, according to AHS.

The health service also reported last year’s total of 1.2 million Albertans receiving a flu shot was a two per cent increase from the previous year.

Watch below: Flu shots are now available in Alberta. Su-Ling Goh tells us how we can get one. She also has more details of the Kidney Foundation’s Kidney One on One program.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Health Matters: Oct. 15' Edmonton Health Matters: Oct. 15
Edmonton Health Matters: Oct. 15 – Oct 15, 2018

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