Wednesday , 22 November 2017
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Two children, three adults in Alberta die, prompting push for flu shots
Two children, three adults in Alberta die, prompting push for flu shots

Two children, three adults in Alberta die, prompting push for flu shots

Five deaths related to influenza have taken place across the province in the last week, says Alberta Health Services.

“We’ve seen people of all ages, whether they were healthy or not, being affected. Some of them severely, and some of them dying,” said Dr. Martin Lavoie, the province’s acting chief medical officer of health, speaking at a news conference about the flu season on Thursday.

Five people have now died from the flu in the province, with one youth and one senior from Calgary also dying from the illness. Health officials are not releasing the exact ages of the victims or the dates of their deaths for confidentiality reasons.

Dr. Gerry Predy, Senior Medical Officer of Health, said flu season was later than usual but has now arrived, with the number of people hospitalized from flu rising from 30 to 80 in about a week. There have now been 283 confirmed cases of flu in Alberta, with 84 people hospitalized, and the five deaths.

“We are in the early stages of this outbreak, and it’s not too late for people to get their vaccines,” said Predy. “That’s the key message we want to get out today.”

It’s a much different picture from three weeks ago, when health officials reported a milder start to the flu season, with only 77 cases of influenza confirmed across the province and no deaths.

While the flu poses the greatest risks to vulnerable people — such as infants, the elderly and the chronically ill — Lavoie said healthy people can also get seriously sick, and even die.

“It’s a serious illness, it causes people to get very sick. It kills people. And it’s preventable,” Predy said. “People always talk about, ‘What can we do to prevent things?’ Well, here’s a preventable disease that people aren’t taking advantage of a preventive measure.”

Lavoie said some people may believe the vaccine is “not worth it,” or are waiting to see how the season goes. He also blamed misinformation that circulates on the Internet for spreading misconceptions about the vaccine.

Four of the people who have died this year had not been vaccinated, and one of the victims, a child, had received only the first part of the two-phase vaccine given to children under nine. About one million people have received the flu vaccine in Alberta this year.

The province purchased over two millions doses of influenza vaccine and so far just over one million doses have been administered.

Influenza immunization is free to all Albertans, six months of age and older.

Agencies/Canadajournal




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    5 comments

    1. Yesterday’s news.

      Now in three weeks we’ll be reading about how the vaccine is only 31% effective or some other stupidly low number.

    2. I am well educated (with 2 BSc’s and an MMath) and last year in grade 7 my daughter had 3 shots for various vaccines (not the flu though). She usually has a strong immune system but last year seemed to catch most everything that was going around (nothing serious but constantly sick it seemed). She was catching things that I was not, which is the reverse of normal for us. She was not that sick since probably around age 5 and kindergarten, when if memory serves she was finishing her childhood shots. She has had ALL the usually vaccines and maybe one additional optional one. So am have never been an anti-Vaxer (or whatever the term is).

      I am starting to BELIEVE that our drug companies are NOT being careful enough with the additives in these vaccines. I am starting to BELIEVE that direct injection into the blood stream is NOT a good idea. I am WELL educated with degrees in Math, Computer Science and Physics (top of my class).

      I will NOT get the flu shot; the med-professions assurances of safety mean NOTHING to me at this point. Ironic timing, a drug clinical trial in France just left someone brain dead and a handful injured. We have allowed industry to be cocky, too self-assured when it comes to the extent of their knowledge. Hubris is what it is.

      I

    3. Typo’s in my previous copy of this comment. Sorry for the trouble.

      I am well educated (with 2 BSc’s and an MMath) and last year in grade 7 my daughter had 3 shots for various vaccines (not the flu though). She usually has a strong immune system but last year seemed to catch most everything that was going around (nothing serious but constantly sick it seemed). She was catching things that I was not, which is the reverse of normal for us. She was not that sick since probably around age 5 and kindergarten, when if memory serves she was finishing her childhood shots. She has had ALL the usually vaccines and maybe one additional optional one. I have never been an anti-Vaxer (or whatever the term is).

      I am starting to BELIEVE that our drug companies are NOT being careful enough with the additives in these vaccines. I am starting to BELIEVE that direct injection into the blood stream is NOT a good idea. I am WELL educated with degrees in Math, Computer Science and Physics (top of my class).

      I will NOT get the flu shot; the med-professions assurances of safety mean NOTHING to me at this point. Ironic timing, a drug clinical trial in France just left someone brain dead and a handful injured. We have allowed industry to be cocky, too self-assured when it comes to the extent of their knowledge. Hubris is what it is.

    4. Nicola Timmerman

      Usually don’t have any problem with flu vaccine but this time I think a nerve was touched because site aches especially when try to sleep and now month and a half later I am still taking physio to stretch range of my arm and doing exercises as find it hard to put on coat, put on bra without turning class to front and lift anything too heavy with that arm.

    5. The usual fear mongering in above article. I hope they can get their money back on those 1 million flu shots, cause me or anyone I know would not take a flu shot. About 350 people a year die of the flu in Canada every year and 85% of those are over 65. So that leaves about 50 people under 65 who die of the flu. There is 35 million people in Canada, so you have only a 1.7 chance in a million of dying of the flu if your under 65. And you have a 3 to 10 chance in a million of a serious life altering adverse event from the flu shot.
      About 10 to 12 kids die of the flu each year. This is not measles, “they” want to vaccinate everyone in a nation for this? Also the flu shot barely works at its best. So how stupid is it. For links to support everything I said here plus a ton more of flu shot data see here. Note: the flu shot is the most profitable vaccine as it is given yearly, for vaccine makers, doctors and pediatricians, they love it.

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