"Unprecedented demand" for flu vaccine, but no Alberta shortage
Flu clinic will remain open at Northgate until 3 p.m. Sunday
Speaking Sunday afternoon, AHS senior medical officer of health Dr. Gerry Predy said the province is managing an 'unprecedented' demand for flu vaccines.
He said the province does have enough flu stock to meet demands and is doing all it can to ensure everyone who wants the shot is able to get it – including expanding vaccine delivery times and keeping clinics open on weekends.
"We've put a lot of vaccines into a lot of arms," he said.
Dr. Predy said the increase in demand is likely the result of an increase in perceived risk.
Five Albertas with the flu have died this season, and hundreds more have been diagnosed with H1N1.
Next year, he said, he hopes people will get vaccinated earlier in the flu season.
Long lines at Northgate clinic
Edmontonians in search of a flu shot faced long lines at the Northgate Centre – the only flu clinic open in the city on Sunday.
Hundreds queued up for the shot, typically waiting between 30 and 60 minutes to get their vaccination.
One mother told the CBC’s Matthew Kupfer she went to the the mass immunization clinic because she couldn't find a pharmacy that had any of the vaccine left. She said getting the shot will help relieve some of the frustration and anxiety she was feeling about the illness this week.
The clinic, located at 9499 137th Avenue, closed at 3 p.m.
Flu shots are also being given out at pharmacists and doctors’ offices, although many say they have run out of the vaccine and others are facing distribution delays.