Influenza vaccination clinics open across the province today, and only one shot is needed this year, according to an Alberta Health Services spokesperson. While H1N1 is still around, it doesn’t pose the same threat as it did last year, said Erin Martinez of AHS.
“The World Health Organization, they recently declared that the H1N1 pandemic is over, however, the H1N1 influenza virus still exists and is expected to continue circulating this season,” she said.
This year, there will be only one shot administered for the various strains of influenza as opposed to receiving a separate shot for H1N1. “Last year, people needed to get the two separate shots — one to protect against H1N1, the other to protect against the three other prevalent strains of regular influenza,” said Martinez.
“This year ... there’s a single influenza shot that will protect people against H1N1 and two strains of influenza.”
Martinez said the shot is free to all Albertans six months of age and older.
AHS recommends those at a higher risk, including young children and seniors, get the vaccination early on in the flu season.