It is recommended that all Albertans aged 6 months and older be vaccinated against the flu (influenza) annually. The flu viruses change from year to year, therefore our vaccines have to change with them. This year’s flu vaccine contains the H1N1 virus along with two new strains.
Immunization is one of the best ways to prevent the flu. While most people who become sick with the flu have mild illness lasting for 5-10 days, the flu causes 20,000 hospitalizations and 4,000 deaths in Canada each year. By protecting yourself against the flu, you are also protecting those around you who are at higher risk of developing complications.
The vaccine is especially important for people who are at higher risk of developing complications from the flu, including:
- People who are age 65 or older.
- Adults and children who have long-term health problems or an impaired immune system.
- People who live in nursing homes or long term care centers.
- Women who will be pregnant during the flu season.
- Children 6 to 23 months of age.
- Children who are 24 months to 18 years old who use long-term ASA treatment.
- People who are obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more.
- First Nations peoples.
- Health care workers and anyone who lives or works with a person who is at higher risk of problems from the flu.
Your pharmacist can help you decide if the flu vaccine is a good choice for you. If you have questions about the flu or flu vaccine, speak with one of our pharmacy team members today.
Anyone aged 9 and older presenting a valid Alberta Health Care card is eligible to receive a FREE flu vaccination by one of our trained pharmacists or nurses. Children aged <9 must get their vaccination from the Lethbridge Community Health Center, their family physician or attend one of the flu clinics at the Exhibition Park.
Stafford Pharmacy is offering flu vaccinations on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00pm – 4:30 PM. No appointment necessary.