Gateway Gazette

AHS Wellness News – Get Your Influenza Immunization: why chance it?

 

With autumn comes a few certainties: first frost, Thanksgiving, changing leaves… and influenza.

Influenza – often called the “flu” – is unfortunately also often confused with stomach illnesses and common colds.

The reality is that influenza is of far greater risk to our communities than the common cold and stomach flu.  As a severe respiratory illness that impacts the nose, throat, and lungs, influenza is a virus that doesn’t discriminate. Though children less than 23 months, seniors, and those with compromised immune systems are at greatest risk, no matter how healthy you think you are: if you aren’t immunized each season, you are at risk for influenza.

Simply put: good health isn’t contagious, but influenza is.  And chances are, your friends, colleagues and family members don’t want influenza any more than you do.

To protect yourself, and others, this season: please, get immunized.

Influenza vaccine will be available, free of charge, starting October 20. All Albertans, six months of age and older, are eligible – and recommended – for immunization.

Just as with other immunizations, the influenza vaccine is your best protection against disease. Each year, the influenza vaccine is developed to protect us against the strains of virus likely to circulate in our community, over the next six months. You can’t rely on last season’s immunization to protect you this season.

Available at hundreds of AHS clinics around Alberta, and through many pharmacists and family physicians as well, influenza vaccine is easily accessible.

Last season, more than 3,900 cases of influenza were confirmed in Alberta, and more than 100 Albertans passed away with the virus.

This season, don’t become a statistic.

The vaccine is safe.  Influenza is not.

Why chance it?

To learn more about influenza, and to look-up your local clinic schedules, visit www.albertahealthservices.ca/influenza.

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