It’s that time of the year again: flu season. The province will kick off its annual influenza vaccine campaign on Monday.
Free flu shots will be offered to all Albertans over the age of six months. Flu clinics will be set up throughout the province. The vaccination will also be offered at some pharmacies. Children under the age of nine must be immunized at an Alberta Health Services clinic.
As of Oct. 8, there had been 56 lab-confirmed cases of the flu in Alberta, the majority of which were reported in Calgary.
Last year, more than one million doses of the flu vaccine were administered across Alberta. However, that only represents about 27 per cent of the population.
Last season’s flu vaccination was about 45 to 50 per cent effective, according to AHS.
This year, AHS ordered 1.6 million doses of the vaccine in hopes that 35 per cent of Albertans will get their flu shot.
A total of 1,698 people were hospitalized last year with lab-confirmed influenza. Sixty-two people died of the flu last year, 17 of whom were from the Edmonton area.