No needle needed
Good news if you can’t stand needles.
You can now be vaccinated for
seasonal flu with a painless and
pokeless nasal spray.
FluMist® was first used in Alberta in
2012 and is available again this flu
Dr. James Talbot, the chief medical
officer of health for Alberta Health,
says FluMist has another benefit:
it’s slightly more effective than other
vaccines for children aged two to 17.
FluMist® is not recommended for
people with severe asthma or an
egg allergy, or who are immune
suppressed or pregnant.
She says Alberta offers a universal
influenza immunization program,
meaning anyone who lives, works
or goes to school in Alberta can be
vaccinated for free.
In the 2012/2013 flu season, nearly
1,000 people in Alberta ended up in
the hospital because of influenza,
including around 500 people who had
not been immunized.
“We know that the best way to
prevent influenza is to be immunized.
And not just getting yourself
immunized, but also asking those
around you to be immunized,”
She adds that having family
members and everybody around
you immunized creates “a circle of
protection around you.”
You can get the influenza vaccine
across Alberta until March 31, 2014.
For more information about the AHS
Immunization Clinic closest to you,
or call Health Link Alberta at 1-866-
408-5465. Many pharmacies and
drugstores also offer the vaccine.
— Jacqueline Louie