Health officials are attempting to keep up with the growing medical needs of a vulnerable community affected by the continual spread of the H1N1 virus.
A makeshift clinic intended to arm homeless inner-city residents with the vaccine was erected Friday outside Edmonton’s primary shelter, the Hope Mission.
“These people don’t have the means to go outside the inner-city to receive the vaccination.
They deal with problems like mental illness and not knowing where to get the vaccine, or not trusting the people who give it,” said Hope Mission spokeswoman Janelle Aker-Johnston.
“This is something we can provide for them.”
The charitable group is expecting and hoping hundreds of homeless will line up for the vaccine, as the group is truly at the mercy of transmission and effects of the virus.
The vaccine tent will operate Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., in conjunction with a street celebration and barbecue.
Alberta Health Services simultaneously opened doors to an Influenza Assessment Centre Friday, in an effort to ease the strain on family doctors and hospitals saturated with flu-stricken patients.
The Duggan Health Centre clinic (5035 – 108 Street) will be open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to midnight. The clinic won’t be providing vaccine, rather treatment for those with flu symptoms.
The health authority recorded one more H1N1-related death Thursday, bringing the Alberta death toll since the onset of the pandemic to 13.