This release was issued under a previous government.
“I thank Albertans for responding to the call to get the flu shot and helping to protect yourselves and your loved ones from the impacts of this year’s flu. We have been able to immunize nearly one million people during this immunization effort, including about 150,000 last week alone. Thanks to the efforts of our immunization teams we have been able to vaccinate more people to date this year than during all of last year.”
With the increase in demand, Alberta has been able to secure an additional 65,000 doses of vaccine that were delivered on January 7.
An expert working group recently re-assessed the available and expected vaccine supply to ensure it is distributed in the most effective way. The group, which included senior medical directors, Medical Officers of Health and an ethicist, determined that vaccines that are still in pharmacies and doctors’ offices should remain there. Any new shipments of vaccine will be distributed to Alberta Health Services public health clinics for easier distribution and centralized access for Albertans
“I am pleased that we have been able to immunize so many Albertans prior to the peak of this year’s influenza season. This will result in better protection for Alberta citizens as a whole. As part of our ongoing effort, we also continue to advise people on how to protect themselves in addition to getting the flu shot. This includes hand washing and avoiding going to work or school if you are displaying flu symptoms."
Availability of flu clinics will continue to be updated on the Alberta Health Services website.
Influenza, commonly called the flu, is a respiratory disease that affects the nose, throat and lungs. It is caused by a virus that is easily passed from person to person. Many people use the word “flu” in relation to a stomach bug. Stomach bugs are not the flu, but are gastro-intestinal illnesses.
This year, Alberta has spent nearly $8 million on flu vaccines. In Alberta, the average cost of treating a hospitalized person with influenza is about $17,000.
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.
* Updated Jan 8 at 4pm to include link to statistics