Calgary

Flu shot program sees almost 280K Albertans immunized

Alberta Health Services says the numbers are an improvement over last year.

Alberta Health Services trying to avoid repeat of last year's record-setting flu-related deaths

Alberta Health Services says 11 Albertans have been admitted to hospital with lab-confirmed cases of influenza so far this season. (Chuck Stoody/Canadian Press)

Almost 280,000 Albertans have received a flu shot in the first week of this season's vaccination program.

About 102,000 of those jabs were in the Calgary zone and roughly 93,000 in the Edmonton zone, says Alberta Health Services (AHS).

AHS says it's pleased with the turnout so far, but says the goal of having as many Albertans as possible immunized is still a long way off.

The first weekly report from AHS shows a noticeable improvement over this time last year, when there had already been three flu-related deaths.

  • Find out where to get a flu shot here

Last flu season was the deadliest on record in Alberta, with 103 lab-confirmed influenza deaths. Officials are working to turn that around this year.

So far this season, 11 Albertans have been admitted to hospital with lab-confirmed cases of influenza, AHS says. 

Alberta Health bought 1.8 million doses of influenza vaccine for this year's flu season at a cost of $12.7 million.

The province estimates that's enough to cover 40 per cent of the population.

"Chances are, you'll be exposed to influenza this season. Influenza immunization is your best protection against illness. Protect yourself. Protect others. Get immunized," AHS says on its website. 

The province has been offering free flu immunization to Albertans since 2009.

More health-care workers have been getting immunized this year, up from 60 per cent of them last year to 64 per cent this season, AHS says.

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