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Influenza vaccine clinics to open in time for flu season

Flu season is approaching and Alberta Health Services will be setting up influenza vaccine clinics around the province.

Medical Officer of Health for AHS Dr. Digby Horne says the vaccine is the most important thing to do in order to protect against the flu. He adds that there are some other simple things people can do aside from getting a flu shot.

“Cough into your sleeve so that you minimize the spread of infection to others. If people are feeling unwell they shouldn’t go to work and possibly transmit it to others.”

Clinics across the province open on October 15. The closets clinic to Lloydminster is at the Kitscoty Community Hall, which will be open on October 24 on a drop-in basis. From then on the clinic will be open throughout November and December by appointment at Kitscoty Community Health Centre.

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Anyone six months or older can get the vaccine. Dr. Horne says that less than 30 per cent of the province was vaccinated last year and this year AHS is aiming for 35 per cent of the population.

Dr. Horne says flu season usually lasts from October or November to March or April each year. He says last year was unusual in that both strains of the flu intertwined during the season.

“Something the B strains in many seasons they follow the end of that season and the A strains take up the first part of the season. Last year was a little bit unusual that the A and B strains were going together throughout the season.”

He adds that it is hard to predict the type of influenza season we will see this year, but if it’s anything like last year it will be milder.

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