Health Officials Host Mass Flu Shot Clinic

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In addition to standard vaccines, which protect against two strains of A influenza and one strain of B, there is a quadrivalent vaccine that protects against two A strains and two B strains, available for children between six months and 17.

The province has the second-lowest flu vaccination rate in the country. Because those strains change from season to season, Albertans can not rely on having been immunized in years past.

Last year, H3N2 dominated in Canada, which suggests it might not this year - which could be good news, officials say. "It's still a good idea to provide your body with as much protection as you can".

"Influenza does not discriminate".

"This includes persons over the age of 65, anyone with an underlying chronic health condition, like chronic heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, immune suppression, anyone who is undergoing treatment for cancer - all of these individuals who are at high risk for influenza should especially think of getting the flu vaccine", Shahab said. Please don't take the risk.

"We did offer the FluMist for a couple of years and it was well received, parents loved it, but there were some concerns about its effectiveness, especially for one strain, the H1N1 strain", Shahab said.

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Immunization Program Manager Bekki Wehner said anyone six-months-old and older should get vaccinated.

Eckville will hold flu a clinic on October 26, from 1-7 p.m.at the Eckville Community Health Centre.

Clinics will also be held at Golden Circle Senior Centre, 4620 47A Ave., Nov. 6 from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m.; at Kentwood Alliance Church, 4 Kennedy Dr., Nov. 8 and 9 from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m.; and at Red Deer First Christian Reformed Church, 16 McVicar St., Nov. 18 and December 16, from 9:30 a.m.to 4 p.m.

Last year's flu shot was less effective than usual - about 30% to 40% potent - compared to about 40% to 60% effective in a typical year. Also being held at the Alliance Church, the flu clinic will be for both drop-in and pre-booked appointments from 1-7 p.m.

AHS immunization clinics will be held at Westerner Park Harvest Centre, 4847A 19th St., Oct. 23 and 28 from 9:30 a.m.to 4 p.m.; and Oct. 24, 25 and November 1 from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m.

For flu clinic locations and schedules, check your health region website, call your local public health office or HealthLine 811.

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