The influenza season is in full swing and is far from over. Every Albertan over the age of 6 months should get vaccinated to protect themselves and those around them, especially those who are most vulnerable – the children and the elderly.
Caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory system, influenza is a serious illness and is easily spread from person to person. Although some individuals (pregnant women, seniors, children, and individuals with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems) are at greater risk for severe complications, without immunization, even healthy Albertans are without protection against this illness.
Each year, influenza vaccine is developed to protect us against the strains of virus likely to circulate in our community. When you get immunized, your immune system is prompted to respond and produce antibodies that will arm you against the influenza viruses if – and more likely, when – you are exposed to them again, throughout the season.
Without immunization, your body will not have the opportunity to build its immunity – or armour – against influenza, before being exposed.
Alberta’s annual influenza immunization program is on now, offering influenza vaccine, free of charge, to all Albertans six months of age and older. Be it through dozens of drop-in Alberta Health Services’ influenza immunization clinics or through your local pharmacist or physician, this winter get protected, stay healthy.
For more info, including local clinic schedules, visit www.ahs.ca/influenza, or call Health Link at 811.