Influenza arrives in Alberta

Rebecca Johnson
Alberta Health Services

It happens every fall: influenza arrives in Alberta, and takes a serious toll on our communities.

Influenza is a real threat. It’s also preventable.

Influenza immunization will be available, starting October 15, free of charge, to all Albertans six months of age and older.

It’s the single most effective means of reducing your risk of influenza, particularly when you receive it as early in the season as possible. By getting immunized early, you will give your body the opportunity to respond to immunization, and produce antibodies that will arm you against the influenza viruses you’ll be exposed to throughout the season.

Each year, influenza vaccine is developed to protect us against the strains of virus likely to circulate in our community.

Though vaccine effectiveness may vary, know this: last season, influenza vaccine cut Albertan’s risk of influenza by about 42 per cent. Without immunization, Albertans were completely at risk. And we do mean all Albertans.

Although some individuals (pregnant women, seniors, children, and individuals with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems) are at greater risk for severe complications, without immunization, even healthy Albertans are at risk of severe illness and even death.

Many pharmacists and physician offices are offering influenza immunization this season. Call ahead to ensure availability before visiting.

For more information on the influenza program, including AHS public immunization clinic locations and schedules, visit ahs.ca/influenza or call Health Link at 811.

Prevention is your protection. Get immunized this season.

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