Flu season is almost here, with Monday’s snowy blast signaling the impending arrival of winter in Calgary.
Alberta Health Services will begin its free Influenza Immunization Program on October 23, 2017. After this date, all Albertans 6 months of age and older are eligible to receive a free flu vaccine at a participating pharmacy, family physician, or Alberta Health Service Clinic. Flu season often peaks from November to January in Canada.
The symptoms of influenza are:
- fever of 38.5°C (101.3°F) or higher that starts suddenly
- muscle aches
- loss of appetite
- feeling tired
People can spread (are contagious) influenza the day before they have symptoms and for 5 days after symptoms start. Unlike the common cold, which usually resolves itself in 5-7 days, flu symptoms can last for 1 – 3 weeks. Young children (under 5 years of age) and the elderly (over age 65) are most often recommended to receive the flu vaccine, as their immune systems are the most vulnerable to the virus. In CIES’ neighbourhood, flu vaccines will be available at Northgate Mall, located at 495 36 Street NE. Vaccines will also be available at Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, and Rexall, in addition to any independent clinics and pharmacies advertising the vaccine in your neighbourhood. To receive the shot, bring your Alberta Health Card and proof of your identification along to the clinic.