SOUTHERN ALBERTA: Southern Alberta is getting a head start on flu shots, which could mean a less severe flu season. South Zone Medical Officer of Health Vivien Suttorp says a round of early clinics has seen good attendance so far.
"Some areas we've counted an "at expected," or just "below expected" attendance at our mass public clinics," she says. "But there's more access to influenza vaccine this year than any other year in the past."
Pharmacies, doctor's offices and large employers, like the City of Lethbridge, have joined Alberta Health Services in offering flu shots. Suttorp says she's glad to see the increase in participation, as the more people who get vaccinated, the less chance there is of serious outbreaks.
"Immunization is for yourself, but it's also to protect your family, especially those who can't get immunized like children under six months," she says. "When you're involved with a lot of interaction with other people, you're more likely to be exposed."
She adds even if the shot doesn't safeguard you 100 per cent against getting flu, the vaccine often reduces the severity of the virus once it's in your system and also cuts down your chances of passing it on. You can find a list of free flu shot clinics on the Alberta Health Services website.