In 2017, only 30% of Albertans got immunized. This year, however, in the expectation of another harsh flu season, free flu shots are available in Alberta for six-month-old children and older adults. Also, the health officials in Alberta reported that this year, the influenza vaccines are more potent and everyone should take the shot.
“It looks like the vaccine’s a good match, so that will help keep the burden at hospitals, emergency rooms, and intensive care hopefully lower,” said Craig Jenne, a professor at the department of microbiology, immunology, and infectious disease at the University of Calgary. Jenne added that this year’s influenza vaccines four flu virus strains, so they are more potent than the flu shots of 2017.
“But if the flu happens to change in the early part of the season, November, December, then we could be in for a bad year,” added Jenne.
The Alberta health officials develop the vaccines based on the flu virus strain that affect the southern hemisphere during its flu season, so any change that occurs in the meantime could change “the game” completely.
Free Flu Shots Are Available In Alberta
Alberta is now offering free flu shots for six-month-old children and older adults, but the influenza vaccines are also available for other age groups against payments.
“Even if you’re young, healthy, don’t necessarily get sick, you are the carrier that’s going to infect more vulnerable people in the population,” said Craig Jenne. “It is a highly contagious infection. That’s really where the vaccination program comes in if we can get enough of the public vaccinated it’s hard for it to spread from one person to the next,” Jenne added.
According to Alberta Health Services in Calgary, it is essential to take your flu shots because they lower the risks of hospitalization because of influenza. And, apparently, this year Canadians would have more potent influenza vaccines.