ALBERTA: Grade nine students across the province will soon be rolling up their sleeves for a new set of needles.
Alberta Health Services will invest $2-million to immunize up to 40,000 students against meningococcal disease.
The vaccine will protect against four different strains of the disease, and will become part of the annual immunization program in Alberta.
Starting February 1st the province will contact schools to develop a plan, then they'll send permission forms and information to parents, with the actual needles still several weeks away.
Doctor Gerry Predy, Senior Medical Officer of Health for Alberta Health Services noted that while the illness is difficult to spread, it is very dangerous. He explained that it can only be transferred through close contact like sharing foods or lip balm.
Predy went on to say however that the disease can cause disability and even death.