Flu vaccination season kicked off on Monday and health care professionals are encouraging of residents to go out and get their shots in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As with every year, the vaccination is being offered by Cold Lake’s Community Guardian drug stores, formerly known as the Value Drug Marts, in Tri-City and Marina Malls.
“The vaccination is an opportunity for your body to build antibodies to help build an immunity to the flu virus, as well as to prevent it from being spread,” said pharmacist Bob Mattice.
“This will help keep your co-workers and family safe, especially children and grandparents.”
Mattice said that this year’s vaccination was especially important to prevent a “twindemic”, noting that while the standard flu vaccine would do nothing to help prevent someone from becoming infected with COVID-19, the flu itself could prove problematic on its own.
“Last year 40 people died from the flu, while many others got very ill and had serious problems that likely contributed to other problems that affected their quality of life.”
While administration of the vaccination is typically offered at the Cold Lake agriplex alongside the pharmacy, for this season, pharmacies will be the main areas to receive the shot.
AHS will offer the vaccine through its public health clinics to children under five years of age and their household, individuals without a provincial health care number, or for Albertans who live in a community without an immunization health care provider.
Because of this, Mattice predicts that both locations will be much busier than they’ve been in the past, and encourages phoning ahead to schedule an appointment though it’s not necessary.
Masks will also need to be worn when getting the shot in order to compensate for physical distancing measures, along with other screening measures such as temperature checks.