Influenza is a respiratory infection caused by the flu virus. It is generaly characterized by strong fever, cough, headaches, pain and an overall feeling of fatigue that may keep people in bed for days. Influenza can lead to serious complications (e.g. pneumonia) and can be deadly.
In Alberta’s 2014-2015 flu season, influenza was associated with 1874 hospital admissions,
152 intensive care unit treatments, and 103 deaths.
The risk of serious complications is usually found in people suffering from chronic illnesses (e.g. asthma, chronic bronchitis, kidney disease, cancer, AIDS), the elderly (over 60 years of age) and young children (less than 2 years of age).
In Alberta, you can receive your flu shot at your physician’s office, medical clinic, healthcare centre or at your community pharmacy. The Vaccine is usually made available in October. The best time to receive the Vaccine is in the fall, although you may still get the shot in January.
The vaccine is different every year because it is made from the most widespread strain at the time. Therefore, you should receive a flu shot every year to ensure adequate protection.
The Vaccine is free of charge for Alberta residents. You must have a valid Provincial Health Number (PHN) when requesting administration of the Influenza Vaccine. If you do not have, a PHN or if your PHN is inactive you should contact Alberta Health Services.
After the immunization, you will be asked to remain at the site so that if you develop an allergic reaction, healthcare professionals can be quick to react. The vaccine will take effect in approximately two weeks and will protect up to 90% of healthy individuals.
Influenza is very contagious. It is transmitted through droplets of respiratory fluids when people sneeze or cough. Objects, such as doorknobs and glasses, when smeared with secretions from an infected person, can also be a source of contamination. Frequent and thorough hand washing can help reducing contagion. However, the most effective way to prevent the illness is to get the vaccine.
FIGHTING THE INFECTION
The following guidelines can protect you against contamination:
Ask your trusted healthcare professional about appropriate techniques for an effective hand washing.
Influenza Vaccine is available in different formats. Ask your healthcare provider which one is more appropriate for you and don’t forget to mention about any allergies, medical conditions or medications you are taking.
Get immunized today and protect yourself and others against influenza this season. For more information ask your trusted Guardian Pharmacist.
AFRAID OF NEEDLES?
Don't panic, Influenza Vaccine is also available as a nasal spray.
Lymburn Guardian Pharmacy
7528, 178th street
Edmonton, AB, T5T 2Y5
Phone: (780) 487-9515
Send your prescription
Fax: (780) 487-9519
Your doctor can fax your prescription directly to us