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Budget 2014 invests in more flu vaccinations for Albertans

The Redford government is thinking ahead to next year’s flu season by investing in additional flu vaccines to ensure more Albertans can protect themselves and the people they love.  

Minister Horne and Dr. Talbot discuss immunization rates

Additional funding in Budget 2014 will help Alberta increase immunization rates from 27 per cent of Albertans, the rate during the last flu season, to our goal of 45 per cent this flu season. This will reduce the number of Albertans requiring hospitalization by nearly 80 per cent.

Budget 2014 funds $12.5 million to purchase more than two million doses of the flu vaccine, up from 1.3 million doses last year.

“Immunization is the most effective way to stop the spread of this disease. The more Albertans who are immunized, the fewer serious illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths result from influenza. We are planning ahead and are committed to immunizing even more Albertans during the next flu season.” 

- Fred Horne, Minister of Health

“I am proud of all the people who contributed to the success of our influenza immunization campaign this past year. The increased number of Albertans immunized helps to reduce our health care costs and illness in our province. Our models show that if 45 per cent of Albertans get immunized, we can prevent about 60 deaths – and prevent about 90 per cent of influenza-related doctors’ visits.”

- Dr. James Talbot, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health

An additional $2 million is also being budgeted to increase support for all immunization programs, including flu vaccinations and protection against the Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV).

Influenza immunization facts

  • The average cost of treating a hospitalized person with influenza is about $17,000.
  • 27 per cent of Albertans were immunized as of March 1, 2014.
  • This year, more than 1.1 million Albertans were immunized for influenza, an increase from the previous year when 887,591 Albertans were immunized.
  • Nearly 328,700 Albertans were immunized at a pharmacy.
  • Government has provided seasonal influenza vaccine free-of-charge to all Albertans six months of age and older since 2009.

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

Related information

What is Influenza?

Clean Your Hands campaign

InfoGraphic: Flu-related hospitalizations and deaths fall as more Albertans are immunized

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