Influenza Immunization Progam for 2016/2017
Getting your flu vaccination remains the most effective way of reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with this disease. We are very fortunate to live in Alberta which has a free immunization program annually for its residence. Our pharmacists at Edmonton Trail Pharmasave are trained and licensed to administer the vaccination.
This year Alberta Health has ordered a larger supply of vaccine and is not expected to have any shortages based on expected demand. The vaccination program is scheduled to begin on October 24th 2016. This program is free of charge to all Albertan citizens.
We do not require appointments to administer the flu vaccine, so please come by after the start date of the program and get your shot. Pharmacist can only administer the vaccination to patients that are 9 years of age and older.
Flu (Influenza) Frequently Asked Questions
What is influenza?
How is influenza spread?
How serious is influenza?
- pregnant women
- people 65 and older
- children 6 months up to 5 years
- people with chronic health problems
What are the symptoms of influenza?
- fever (temperature of 38.5 oC or 101.3 oF or higher) that starts suddenly
- muscle aches
- loss of appetite
- feeling tired
How can influenza be prevented?
- Get the influenza vaccine. Influenza vaccine is a very effective way to protect people from getting sick with influenza. You need to get immunized every year because the influenza viruses change. A new vaccine is made each year to protect against the viruses most likely to cause illness in that year. The best time to get immunized is in October or November, but you can get immunized any time during influenza season.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that has alcohol in it.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your arm or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Stay home and rest when you are sick.
Is the influenza vaccine safe?
If I was immunized last year, do I need to get immunized again this year?
The World Health Organization identifies the strains of influenza that they predict will be the most common during the upcoming season. This information is used to develop the influenza vaccine to protect against these strains. The immunity you get from your vaccine decreases over time, which means you need to get immunized every year to stay protected (even if you've been immunized against the same strain before).
To protect yourself against influenza, get immunized every year. Make it part of your fall routine.
I am in Alberta, but I’m not an Alberta resident; can I get immunized?
If I am healthy, why do I need to get immunized?
I don’t normally get influenza; do I really need to get immunized?
If I am pregnant or breastfeeding, can I get immunized?
If you are breastfeeding, it’s safe to get the inactivated or live influenza vaccine.
For more information, see: Influenza Immunization Information if You are Pregnant, Breastfeeding, or have a Newborn
If I have a latex allergy can I get the vaccine?
Can I get the vaccine if I take any medicines?
If you take antiviral medicine, the live influenza vaccine might not work well or it may affect how your medicine works. Don’t get the live vaccine until 48 hours after you have stopped taking antiviral medicine. If you get the live influenza vaccine, don’t take any antiviral medicine for 2 weeks unless your doctor tells you to. If you have any questions, talk to your doctor.
Can I get the vaccine at the same time as other vaccines?
Tell your immunizing pharmacist, or nurse if you (or your child) have had a live vaccine in the past 4 weeks or if you plan to get any other live vaccines. Live vaccines can interfere with each other if they aren’t given at the same time or spaced out as needed. Live vaccines include:
- measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
- chicken pox (varicella)
- yellow fever
Can I donate blood if I get the influenza vaccine?
If you get the inactivated or live nasal influenza vaccine, go to the Canadian Blood Services website at www.blood.ca or call 1-888-236-6283 before you donate blood.
How long does it take for the vaccine to start working?
How well does the vaccine work?
Research shows that the vaccine can decrease:
- complications in people that are high-risk
- pneumonia, hospital admissions, and deaths in older adults
- doctor visits, hospital admissions, and deaths in high-risk people between 18 and 64