The arrival of fall brings with it the start of flu season. Flu shots will be available to Cochrane and area residents starting this week.

The flu shot is available to all Albertans free of charge and will be available at participating pharmacies, doctor's offices, and health clinics across the province. Due to COVID 19 health protocols, ensure that you call ahead to book an appointment and to be aware of the expected procedures.

Families with children under the age of five are asked to book an appointment with an Alberta Health Services site using the online booking tool. Click here.

Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, asks all Albertan's to, "Please get your flu shot. Influenza is not new like COVID 19, but it is very serious. Last winter almost 8,500 Albertans contracted the flu and ultimately 41 died. Last year, about one in three Albertans took the step to get immunized for influenza. This was more than in 2018/2019, but we can and must do better this year." 

Dr. Hinshaw says, getting immunized is an easy way to protect your health and while it won't prevent COVID 19, it will lessen your chance of getting sick with the flu.  

Seniors, young children, pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions are most at risk of suffering severely from the flu. Dr. Hinshaw adds, "Also, by getting immunized, you are helping support Alberta's pandemic response. We can't yet prevent COVID 19 with a vaccine but we can help stop the flu from taxing our health system. The more we can avoid influenza related tests, emergency visits, and hospitalizations the stronger out system will be to support those with COVID 19 and all other health needs."

The bottom line, Dr. Hinshaw says, "Getting a flu shot is the right thing to do."