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Province announces flu vaccine for children six months and older

By: Sara Wilson

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 01:13 pm

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Alberta Health Services (AHS) announced on Jan. 27 that it will be offering the influenza vaccine to all children who turned, or will turn, six months of age, on or after Dec. 1, 2013, through to March 31, 2014.

Influenza vaccine will also continue to be given to all children nine years old and older who received a first dose of influenza vaccine this year, and still require a second dose this season.

Children - less than nine years old - can receive an influenza vaccine this season that require two doses to be fully immunized.

“Parents of children in either of the groups can call Health Link Alberta, or their local public health office, for information on accessing the vaccine for their child,” AHS released in a statement.

“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.”

AHS issued the following tips to minimize the spread on influenza:

•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. 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. Please 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.

For more information on the influenza vaccine contact Health Link Alberta at 1 866 408 5465 (LINK) or www.health.alberta.ca


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