Practically two weeks into the province’s annual flu shot campaign, 289,990 doses of vaccine have been administered to Albertans.
The 2021-2022 Alberta influenza immunization program started on Monday, Oct. 18. All Albertans six months of age and older are eligible to be immunized, freed from cost.
Flu vaccine available in Alberta starting Monday
Data launched by Alberta Well being Companies Thursday afternoon reveals three lab-confirmed circumstances of influenza thus far this flu season, all of that are influenza A.
Two of the circumstances are within the Edmonton zone and one is within the Calgary zone.
Shivali Sharma is a pharmacist proprietor at an Edmonton Consumers Drug Mart. She stated whereas this yr has been regular, the demand isn’t as excessive for flu pictures because it was final yr.
“Because the season began we’ve completed about 1,000 pictures up to now. So it’s fairly good. Positively not as excessive because the demand we noticed final yr, however there’s a regular stream of individuals which are coming in on a regular basis,” she defined.
“The demand was a lot larger final yr for getting the shot, getting the flu shot. This yr, as a result of many individuals really feel they’ve had safety towards COVID-19 with the vaccine, sadly, that’s lowered the demand for the flu shot though they’re completely completely different viruses and getting safety from one isn’t going to guard you from the opposite.”
Alberta’s high physician outlines significance of getting flu shot amid COVID-19 4th wave
Throughout final yr’s flu season, not a single lab-confirmed case of influenza was detected within the province.
Well being officers credited higher-than-usual influenza vaccine uptake and public well being measures in place to maintain COVID-19 at bay for holding the flu away.
This yr, it’s laborious to foretell what the flu season will seem like, in keeping with Alberta’s chief medical officer of well being.
“We’ll have to look at intently because the season unfolds and we all know that having had no influenza final yr, if there are important transmission occasions, there may very well be important penalties and circumstances which have an extra impression on the acute-care system,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw stated Thursday.
“If all of us proceed to comply with these preventative measures, we are able to proceed to guard one another, not simply from COVID, but in addition from influenza.”
Greater than 1.6 million doses of influenza vaccine have been administered in Alberta final flu season. That interprets to about 37 per cent of Albertans receiving a flu shot. This was the best uptake for flu pictures in Alberta in additional than 10 years.
Alberta flu season wraps up with zero reported cases
Sharma burdened final yr’s flu scenario isn’t any motive to be complacent this yr.
“It’s nonetheless essential that we’re getting our flu pictures,” she stated.
“The large factor proper now’s defending our health-care system, proper? As a result of they clearly are having a extremely robust time battling the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. So we actually need to make certain we’re nonetheless encouraging folks to return in and get their flu pictures.
“For those who haven’t but obtained your flu shot, please achieve this as quickly as you possibly can,” Hinshaw stated.
Throughout the 2019-20 flu season, about 1.4 million doses of vaccine have been administered. There have been 8,470 whole lab-confirmed circumstances of the flu that yr, 1,534 folks have been hospitalized with influenza and 39 folks died of the sickness.
Sharma stated traditionally throughout Canada, upwards of 12,000 persons are hospitalized yearly with the flu and over 3,000 deaths happen yearly.
“It’s a extreme an infection should you have been to get sick with a flu. There are possibilities, and particularly in these which are susceptible — so anybody with superior age, with immunocompromising situations, pregnant girls or anybody with power medical situations — these persons are vulnerable to experiencing sever outcomes.”
This yr, a high-dose flu vaccine is offered to these 65 and older. The province stated it has ordered and obtained 400,000 of the high-dose vaccine.
This is sufficient to immunize each Albertan 65 and older residing in congregate care settings, in keeping with Alberta Well being. Additionally it is sufficient to immunize 68 per cent of Alberta’s whole inhabitants 65 and older, which is 5 per cent extra doses than the province’s highest immunization fee achieved in that age group.
Alberta Well being encourages folks 65 and older to name their pharmacy prematurely to make sure they’ve the high-dose vaccine out there.
“The doses are dispersed in small quantities throughout the province,” Alberta Well being stated Thursday. “That is to make sure entry for as many Albertans as potential.”
Sharma stated she’s heard some pharmacies throughout Alberta have had low provides of the high-dose vaccine.
“We do know that that high-dose vaccine does set off a stronger immune response in these 65 and older. So if there may be some out there proper now, which we do nonetheless have at our places, please do are available in and get that completed.”
Albertans can e-book an appointment to obtain their flu shot by means of the AHS website.
Appointments may also be booked by means of Well being Hyperlink by calling 811 and taking part pharmacies additionally provide drop-in appointments.
– With information from Kirby Bourne, 630 CHED
© 2021 International Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.