Alberta’s flu vaccines and bivalent COVID booster coming soon

Influenza vaccines and Pfizer’s bivalent COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available at pharmacies and local health clinics in Alberta.

Beginning Oct. 17, Albertans six months and older will be able to get their flu shot at participating pharmacies, select community medical clinics and select Alberta Health Services sites.

The Alberta government has ordered 1.9 million doses of flu vaccine, according to a news release Thursday afternoon.

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The Government of Alberta has said that flu shots will be offered free of charge to the following people:

  • Albertans five years and older in pharmacies and some community medical clinics
  • Albertans six months and older attending certain community medical clinics

AHS will also offer vaccines at its public health clinics for:

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  • Children under five and their families and household members
  • People who do not have a provincial health insurance number
  • People who live in a community where there are no other immunizing healthcare providers

“Getting the flu shot is an easy way to reduce your risk of getting the flu, help limit the spread of the virus and reduce your risk of being hospitalized with the flu,” said Minister of Health, Jason Copping, in a statement.

Click to play video: “Alberta Health warns of rising COVID and flu cases”

Alberta Health warns of rising COVID and flu cases

Meanwhile, Pfizer’s bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, which targets the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, will be available to Albertans ages 12 and older starting Oct. 24.

This is in addition to Moderna’s bivalent vaccine, which also targets the BA.1 subvariant.

It comes after Alberta Health reported that hospitals across the province have had more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients for more than two weeks.

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As of Oct. 10, there were 1,014 people in Alberta hospitals, an increase of 34 from the previous reporting period two weeks ago. But data obtained by Global News showed that hospitals in Alberta had more than 1,100 COVID patients as of Wednesday afternoon.

According to a separate statement Thursday, these bivalent vaccines are offered on a voluntary basis.

“We recognize that many Albertans are looking to get their booster shot of COVID-19 as we head into fall and winter. As BA.4 and BA.5 are the most prevalent strains in Alberta right now, we are happy to offer this additional option,” Copping said in a separate statement.

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Reservations for influenza and bivalent vaccines are available through the Alberta Vaccine Reservation System or by calling Health Link at 811. Pharmacies can be contacted directly.

People aged five and over can get their flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine, including boosters, at the same time. The Alberta government has said separate appointments are not necessary in most cases.

AHS recommends that people between the ages of six months and four years wait 14 days between receiving their COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot or routine childhood vaccines.

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– wwith files from Adam Toy, Global News

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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