A Dieppe, N.B., pharmacist says he’s seen a spike in the number of people looking for flu shots, a rush prompted in part by the flu outbreak in Western Canada.
Five people in Alberta have died, and there are 920 confirmed cases of H1N1 in that province.
Dennis Abud said this late in the season he typically gets just one person a day looking for a flu vaccination at his Moncton area pharmacy.
But lately there’s been 10 or 15 coming through his doors to be immunized. The current vaccine protects against three strains of flu, including H1N1.
"The fact that it’s H1N1 kind of scares people, I think, so people are coming in," Abud said. "Because the strain was already around before there’s less worry, it won’t be a pandemic.
"But there’s still the problem of people are going to get the flu. So yes, H1N1, everybody’s talking about it, but there’s other strains of virus out there too."
As of Dec. 31, there were 14 confirmed cases of the flu in New Brunwick, all but one the H1N1 strain. Health officials say the numbers are likely much higher as most cases aren't sent to the lab for testing.
It takes two weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective after it’s been injected.
And even if you are healthy, Abud recommends getting the vaccine so you protect other people in your life.
"Person that is healthy is going to see their grandmother who may not be as healthy, they could actually transmit the disease," he said. "Even if you don't have it you could be carrying it."