Using additional doses of influenza vaccine secured by Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services will now be offering influenza vaccine to all children who turned, or will turn, six months of age, on or after Dec. 1, 2013 through to March 31.
Influenza vaccine also continues to be offered to all children less than nine years of age who received a first dose of influenza vaccine already this season, and still require a second dose this season. Children (less than nine years of age) receiving influenza vaccine for the first time this season require two doses, this season, to be fully immunized.
Parents of children in either of the above noted groups can call Health Link Alberta, or their local Public Health Office, for information on accessing the vaccine for their child.
Although influenza vaccine is no longer available for Albertans outside of the above noted two groups, all Albertans are encouraged to continue their vigilance in preventing the further spread of illness in our communities by following preventative precautions:
– Cover your cough: cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing. If you don’t have a tissue, always cough or sneeze into your arm, not into your hands. Also make sure to throw away tissues after wiping your nose or covering a cough, and wash your hands.
– Clean your hands: using soap and warm water, wash your hands thoroughly and often, including after coughing, sneezing, using tissues or the washroom, and before eating or preparing foods.
Alcohol-based hand rub or sanitizer can also be helpful if hands are not visibly soiled. Make a point of keeping hands and fingers away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
– Stay home when sick: if you have symptoms of influenza, including fever, cough, headache and extreme tiredness, stay home from work, school, daycare, or any social function.
Officials remind people to also refrain from visiting family, friends or loved ones in hospitals, care facilities or seniors lodges, until you have fully recovered from any illness, including influenza.