Most people get excited about the free candy that comes with Halloween, but that pillow-case full of tooth-melting sweetness isn’t the only free thing in store for Albertans this October.
Starting on Monday, October 15, people all around the province will be able to get their very own (and completely FREE) influenza vaccination just in time for that pesky flu season.
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Just last year, approximately 1.3 million free doses of the vaccine were administered to Albertans, though that only accounted for 29% of the total population of the province.
The Alberta government has ramped up the offer for this year, with 1.6 million doses being ordered, which is enough to provide the free vaccine to 35% of Albertans according to a release from the Government of Alberta.
Even if you are a fit, healthy, young adult, it is recommended that you get the vaccine anyway because it can help to protect the people that may have weaker immune systems.
“Getting immunized provides the best protection against influenza,” said Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman in the release.
“With seniors, young children, and Albertans with compromised immunity especially susceptible, I encourage everyone to get the flu vaccine to protect not only yourself but others at risk of getting sick.”
The release also states that 9,609 lab-confirmed cases of influenza were reported for Alberta last year alone, and 92 people who were hospitalized with the virus died as a result.
“Remember – you can be contagious with influenza before you even feel sick. No one wants to be the reason someone else gets sick. And, no one wants to get sick,” said Alberta Health Services’ Acting Senior Medical Officer Dr. Christopher Sikora, in the release.
The free flu shots are offered to all Albertans over the age of four and will become available at clinics beginning on Wednesday, October 15.