What is Influenza?
Commonly overlooked by travellers, influenza may be encountered anywhere. The “flu” is a common viral disease affecting the respiratory system causing fever, headache, muscle aches and pains, sore throat and cough. Outbreaks occur at various times of the year around the world and can be easily transported and transmitted on planes, trains and cruise ships. In the northern hemisphere in October to March and in the southern hemisphere outbreaks occur in April to September. In the tropics, influenza can occur throughout the year. People can be at high risk of serious illness or complications if they get influenza and should be vaccinated whether they travel or not.
In Alberta the vaccine is available October to August and should be given annually for optimal protection as it changes each year.
PUBLICLY FUNDED INFLUENZA VACCINE
Vaccine names: Fluzone®, Fluad®, Flumist®
Minimum age: 6 months
Children up to 8 years of age, who have not previously been vaccinated with the flu shot, should receive a second dose 4 weeks after the first dose.
Booster: every year
Price: Free for eligible Albertans
PRIVATE INFLUENZA VACCINE
Vaccine name: Fluzone® High Dose
Age: 65 years +