As Alberta, other Canadian provinces and places throughout the world continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic with the emphasis on getting vaccinated against the virus to stop the spread, uptake on another important stab in the arm grew quickly over the past two weeks.  

As of Thursday, the number of influenza vaccines administered in the province was 916,184, an increase of more than 626,000 over the number that had been administered just two weeks ago.  

Despite nearly one million doses of vaccine being administered, the number is less than at the same time during the last flu season when 1,142,419 doses had been given for a total provincial coverage of 25.8 percent.  This year the coverage is at 20.7 percent so far.  

Of the total number of doses given out, 775,035 have been put into arms by pharmacies, 82,196 by Alberta Health Services, with 53,337 by other health providers.  


During the 2020-2021 flu season, 1,619,310 doses of flu vaccine were administered in Alberta with not a single lab-confirmed case reported in the province.  It was thought that part of the reason for that was due to COVID-19 health restrictions that were in place, such as masking, physical distancing and gathering restrictions.  

At the beginning of flu season 2021, Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw once again urged Albertans to ease the strain that's been placed on the health care system by COVID-19 by getting the flu shot along with the COVID-19 vaccine.  "I urge every eligible Albertan to get the COVID-19 and influenza vaccines as soon as you are able to," Hinshaw implored.  “This will greatly reduce the number of people who get infected and the number of symptomatic people who need to be tested.”


While Alberta won't make it through another influenza season without a lab-confirmed case, we are seeing what is, so far, a season of low counts with only three cases reported in the entire province.  One case has been confirmed in the Calgary zone and two cases have been confirmed in the Edmonton zone.  

Any Albertan over the age of six months can receive a free flu vaccine.