It’s that time of year: Flu shot is now available for Calgarians – Calgary


Calgarians can get the influenza vaccine starting Monday.

People looking to roll up their sleeves to protect themselves and the community at large can get this year’s flu shot at public clinics, doctors’ offices and pharmacies.

The vaccine for this year’s flu season has been developed based on what they learned from last year’s vaccine, said Dr. Judy MacDonald, Calgary’s medical officer of health.

“It includes two different influenza A strains; influenza AH3, which is what we saw a lot of last year, but perhaps a little different because they change a little bit each year, and influenza AH1 which is what we might see this year plus two different influenza B strains,” she said. “Typically every year although we don’t know exactly what we are going to see, influenza B does show up at some point.”


READ MORE:
With temperature dropping, Alberta prepares for flu season

As always, there’s the question of whether this year’s vaccine will be effective. The 2017 flu season was a particularly bad one for the province, MacDonald said.

“We did see across Alberta just over 9,000 lab-confirmed cases of influenza, and over 3,000 people hospitalized with influenza. So that was more, about twice as many as the year before,” she said. “Is it enough? Well we know we still get influenza, get sick and unfortunately some will pass away – die from influenza,” she said.


READ MORE:
When should you get the flu shot in Canada?

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

Albertans six months of age and older can get the vaccine for free.

To find the nearest public influenza vaccine clinic near you, visit the Alberta Health Services’ website or call 811.

—With files from Slav Kornik

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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