Connect with us

Health

Flu shots now available to all Albertans – St. Albert Today

Published

 on


St. Albert and Sturgeon residents can now get a flu shot and a COVID-19 shot at the same time to protect their health this fall.

Oct. 18 was the official start of the annual influenza vaccination campaign in Alberta. Anyone older than six months can now get vaccinated against the flu for free by making an appointment at most pharmacies or a COVID-19 vaccination centre. (Alberta Health Services has suspended its usual walk-in flu clinics due to the pandemic.)

Jill Bocking, a pharmacist at St. Albert’s Midtown Apothecary, said seniors and high-risk individuals got early access to the shot earlier this month.

“We’ve gotten a lot of seniors,” she said, many of whom got their COVID-19 booster shots at the same time, and considerable public interest from others as to when the flu shot would be available.

Recent research has confirmed it is safe for people to get immunized against COVID and influenza at the same time, said Lynora Saxinger, co-chair of Alberta Health Services’ COVID-19 science advisory group.

“There’s no real concern with immune system confusion, as your immune system deals with a heck of a lot more stuff than [two vaccines at once] in any given day,” she said.

Saxinger said the only side effect residents might get from getting both shots at once is having two sore arms instead of one (as the needles go into different arms).

Bocking said pharmacists will offer flu shots to anyone who comes in for a COVID shot and vice-versa (provided the timing is right for a COVID shot).

This year’s flu shot will protect against the four flu strains predicted to be most common this year, Bocking said. Unlike last year, all seniors, not just those in care facilities, will get an extra-strength flu shot for maximum protection.

Bocking said residents can make appointments to get their shots at most pharmacies.

Tough season ahead?

Much of the world effectively skipped flu season last year due in large part to anti-COVID-19 measures such as mask wearing and physical distancing. Alberta had zero lab-confirmed influenza cases last flu season — a sharp drop from the 8,470 it had the season before.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Deena Hinshaw said the province had three lab-confirmed influenza cases as of Oct. 14 at a time when the province’s intensive-care units are packed with COVID patients.

“Influenza remains a serious and deadly virus,” Hinshaw said, and she urged all residents to get vaccinated against it.

How bad this year’s flu season would be was an open question, Saxinger said. Experts usually base their predictions on Australia and New Zealand, but those nations had atypical flu seasons this year due to extensive COVID-19 lockdown measures.

“We’re definitely seeing a lot more other cold viruses going around,” she said, but anti-COVID measures and competition from COVID itself could keep influenza in check.

“I think there’s a reasonable possibility we could have a real flu season again,” she said, which would be a problem, as the flu tends to put lots of people in hospital (1,534 in 2019-2020 province-wide, AHS reports).

Vaccination protects both yourself and the kids, grandparents, and immunocompromised around you, Bocking said. It also lessens a person’s chance of being hospitalized due to the flu.

“With the hospitals so full of people with COVID, if you were to need hospitalization with influenza, they might not be able to help you,” she noted.

Visit albertahealthservices.ca/influenza to book a flu shot appointment.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

KFL&A reports 34 new COVID-19 cases, 304 active – Globalnews.ca

Published

 on


The Kingston region is once again over the 300 active cases mark, as Wednesday’s 34 new cases bring the daily active case count to 304.

Of the new cases, 10 are in the five-to-11 age group.

Nineteen people remain in hospital, with 11 of those cases are in the intensive care unit. Six people are on ventilators.

Read more:

COVID-19 — Influx of cases causing strain on Kingston hospitals

The cases per 100,000 over the past week is up slightly to 104.7, from 102.8 Tuesday.

The rise in cases locally has also forced the postponing of at least one local event. The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes was scheduled to have its grand opening on Dec. 5 from 2 to 4 p.m.

“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to have significant impacts throughout our communities, the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston is committed to supporting the community through this time of heightened risk and uncertainty,” the Marine Museum said in a statement Wednesday.

“We consider the safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors paramount.”


Click to play video: 'As Covid-19 cases rise in the Kingston region the community reacts'



1:34
As Covid-19 cases rise in the Kingston region the community reacts


As Covid-19 cases rise in the Kingston region the community reacts

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

Roussin takes aim at HIV stigma – Brandon Sun

Published

 on




Wednesday was World AIDS Day and the province is getting behind the message to end the stigma of the disease.

There were 117 new cases of HIV identified in the province in 2020, slightly fewer than in 2019.

“Even though there are fewer cases, there was also significantly less testing,” Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief public health officer, said Wednesday.

“Around 25 per cent of people with HIV are unaware they have it, and that can contribute to the spread.”

The stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS continues to be a significant public health issue in the province. Roussin said the populations most at risk are also facing problems of accessibility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roussin urged people who may be at risk to get regular testing and speak to their health-care providers regarding prevention, testing and treatment options.

All these services are confidential and free of charge.

Those living with HIV are also encouraged to stay connected to care and treatments.

Roussin said it is considered a chronic infection and there are effective treatments for HIV, with many being able to get the virus level down to undetectable levels and minimizing risk of transmitting it to other people.

» The Brandon Sun

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

COVID-19 vaccines: 18% of Ottawa kids 5-11 have 1st doses – Globalnews.ca

Published

 on


Nearly 14,000 Ottawa kids have gotten their first COVID-19 vaccine shots in their first week of eligibility, according to the local health unit.

Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard reports that 13,887 kids aged five to 11, representing 18 per cent of the total age group in the city, have their initial shots as of Wednesday morning.

Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, said earlier this week that 40 per cent of local kids in this youngest eligible demographic have appointments booked through the provincial vaccination system. This doesn’t account for shots booked at pharmacies or doctors’ offices.

Read more:

No need for new restrictions yet in Ottawa amid Omicron cases, Dr. Etches says

City-wide, 86 per cent of the population aged five and older now have at least one dose.

Meanwhile, OPH reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, surpassing the 32,000-case mark since the start of the pandemic.

The number of active infections held relatively steady at 329 in the latest report.

There are now 11 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Ottawa, two of whom are in the intensive care unit.


Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Proof of vaccine now needed to fly in Canada'



1:45
COVID-19: Proof of vaccine now needed to fly in Canada


COVID-19: Proof of vaccine now needed to fly in Canada

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending