Alberta to start regular flu vaccine program in October H1N1 vaccine to follow mid-November

October 1, 2009

Edmonton… On October 13, the province will begin a two-part process to immunize Albertans against influenza through immunization clinics across the province.The immunization program will begin with seasonal influenza immunization aimed at high-risk groups, and shift to universal Pandemic H1N1 influenza immunization as soon as that vaccine is available, likely in mid-November.

“Immunization against influenza will be our best defense this fall,” said Minister of Health and Wellness Ron Liepert. “The province, Alberta Health Services and the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada are working closely together to protect Albertans against regular flu, and H1N1 flu. I’ll be getting immunized against H1N1 and I encourage all Albertans to do the same to protect themselves, their families and friends.”

Alberta Health Services will be delivering the seasonal vaccine to seniors and others living in continuing care and designated assisted living settings. All other seniors can attend clinics across the province to receive their immunization. Pregnant women, children six months to 23 months old, and adults and older children at high risk of developing more severe illness can also receive the seasonal influenza vaccine through these clinics.

Seasonal influenza immunization will stop as soon as the Pandemic H1N1 vaccine becomes available in November. Clinics will then begin immunizing all Albertans over six months of age against H1N1. High-risk groups are encouraged to get their immunization early.

“As H1N1 is expected to be the most prevalent strain of the influenza virus this year, we will be focusing our efforts on providing that vaccine to as many Albertans as possible, as soon as it is available,” said Dr. André Corriveau, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. “We will target high-risk groups who can be more susceptible to serious complications related to flu with both the seasonal influenza and Pandemic H1N1 vaccines.”

“To make the best use of public health resources, and immunize as many people as quickly as possible, we will be delivering both vaccines in mass immunization clinics,” said Dr. Gerry Predy, Senior Medical Officer of Health for Alberta Health Services. “This will be a change from previous years for some individuals. We are asking everyone to check the Alberta Health Services website, or call Health Link Alberta for information on clinics in their community.”

For detailed information on locations and times of influenza immunization clinics near you, or to find out more information about high-risk groups that will receive priority immunization, visit or, or call Health Link Alberta in Edmonton at 780-408-5465, in Calgary at 403-943-5465, or toll free at 1-866-408-5465.

For more information on Alberta’s plans for pandemic H1N1 influenza, please visit, or


Backgrounder: Information on Influenza attached.

Media inquiries may be directed to:
John Tuckwell
Alberta Health and Wellness

Howard May
Alberta Health and Wellness

Don Stewart
Alberta Health Services

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

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