Reopened flu clinics busy as H1N1 cases rise
Flu clinics in Edmonton say they are seeing a steady stream of people taking advantage of free vaccinations after cases of H1N1 doubled last week.
H1N1 is the dominant flu strain in the province this year, according to Alberta Health Services – which is prompting some people who usually skip the flu shot to visit the clinics.
Kristi MacKenzie says her mother was almost killed by the last swine flu outbreak in 2009. That convinced her to go down to the Bonnie Doon clinic with her family Friday morning.
"My mom she was so sick – she was in ICU in an isolated room. She has a weakened immune system,” MacKenzie said.
“So ... I prefer us not … be responsible for the exposure [of others].”
As of last Saturday, AHS had recorded 128 cases of flu in Alberta, almost all of them the H1N1 strain.
Two people have been killed by the disease, one in Edmonton and the other one in Calgary.
The province closed vaccination clinics last week, but have now reopened them in response to the increasing number of cases. Health workers are putting an emphasis on getting children immunized before they head back to school in January.
The Bonnie Doon clinic will remain open until Friday afternoon. The flu clinics at Northgate and West Jasper Place are set to reopen Monday morning.
For a full list of clinic hours in your area, check out the Alberta Health Services website.