Albertans Can Now Book Flu Vaccine Appointments Online

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Albertans can now book their free flu shot appointments online.

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From Monday, October 18, people can use bookvaccine.alberta.ca/vaccine/s / to make a free appointment for the flu vaccination. If appointments are not available online in your area, Albertans can call their local pharmacy or doctor’s office to find out when flu shots will be available. You can also contact Health Link at 811 to make an appointment. Pharmacies will be welcome.

Albertans aged 65 and over are eligible for a high dose influenza vaccine, while those aged six months to 64 years will receive the regular dose. Both formulations protect people against four common strains of the influenza virus.

In a press release on Friday, Health Minister Jason Copping said getting the vaccine has never been more important because Alberta hospitals are at full capacity and strive to provide care to people. very sick, including those with COVID-19.

“We need to do everything we can to protect ourselves, ourselves, our families and our neighbors from COVID-19,” Copping said. “Getting the vaccine will help stop the spread of the flu, reduce flu-related emergency room visits, and help our health care system provide care to those in need.”

Recent studies and reviews have confirmed that it is safe for people to receive an influenza vaccine at the same time as their COVID-19 vaccine. Last year, 37 percent of Albertans were vaccinated, up from 33 percent the year before. Alberta did not report any laboratory-confirmed influenza cases or influenza-related deaths during the 2020/21 influenza season. This compares to 8,470 confirmed cases of the virus in 2019-2020 and 41 deaths.

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Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw encourages Albertans to do even better than last year.

“Let’s do even better than last year when we came out in record numbers for the flu shot, wash our hands regularly, cover our sneezes and stay home when we were sick,” he said. she stated in the statement. “And, if you haven’t already, consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine as well. This is something each of us can do to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our healthcare system that we all rely on.

Last year, Alberta did not have any laboratory confirmed cases of influenza, while there are currently three confirmed cases this influenza season. In a typical year, there would be about 10 to 20 confirmed cases at this point in the flu season, said Dr Kristin Klein, chief medical officer of communicable disease control with Alberta Health Services.

“It’s a little less than what we would typically see in a flu season, but it’s definitely an indication that we’re likely to see the flu this year,” Klein said at a press conference on Friday. afternoon.

Klein said all three cases this year had links to travel. She added that while it’s too early to say what this flu season will look like, they may look to other countries like Australia for some expectations.

“Australia, which has flu season during our summer months, continues to see low levels of flu and flu hospitalizations,” Klein said.

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AHS President and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu said after more than 19 months of responding to the pandemic, she is encouraging Albertans to roll up their sleeves to get their flu shot.

“By keeping the number of influenza cases low, we can help protect Albertans at risk and reduce the strain on our health care system,” Yiu said in the release. “Now more than ever, we need to work together to protect each other and our health care system. “

The Government of Alberta has ordered 2.1 million doses of influenza vaccine to help protect the health of Albertans.

– With files from Kellen Taniguchi

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