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Alberta Health has opened eight drop in flu clinics in Edmonton today, and many more clinics will run through out the province during flu season.
Health officials are taking yet another crack at getting the numbers up of people who choose to be immunized.
"Immunization rates across Alberta are probably somewhere around the high twenties or thirty per cent," said Dr Chris Sikora, chief medical officer of health for AHS and the Edmonton zone.
"Ideally we'd like it as high as possible. There's never populations that are very high risk of getting sick and we want those populations especially to have high immunization rates."
He says that's true of young children, aged six months to five years, as well as any one with a chronic illness like diabetes, hyper tension, high blood pressure, or chronic lung disease.
"We'd like to have them all immunized as well"
Sikora blames the low rates on complacency.
"People don't think its that bad of a disease but in reality there's thousands of people every year across Canada that die from influenza."
Dr James Talbot, the chief medical officer for the province says influenza is here.
"There are always sporadic accounts of influenza coming back from travellers, but we haven't seen anything sustained yet."
"We know flu is going to arrive, its just a question of when."
Eight clinics opened on Monday October 15: Providence Renewal Centre, Slovenian Hall, Westend Seniors Activity Center, Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre, East Edmonton Health Centre, Inglewood Community League, Millbourne Market Mall, and Northgate Health Centre. (sj)