Update on Airborne Viruses in Alberta: Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines Coming Soon

Update on Airborne Viruses in Alberta: Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines Coming Soon

Alberta’s health minister, Adriana LaGrange, provided an update on the spread of airborne viruses in the province, three weeks after the start of the school year. LaGrange emphasized the need for proper hygiene protocols, such as handwashing and staying home when sick, as well as respecting those who choose to wear a mask, as the colder weather will likely drive people indoors.

Influenza vaccines, including a new Moderna vaccine formulated to target the XBB.1.5 variant, will be available on October 16. Health Canada has approved the use of the Moderna vaccine. LaGrange also mentioned that more information on immunizations against respiratory viruses, including influenza and COVID-19, will be available shortly.

Since August 28, there have been 28 cases of influenza and five lab-confirmed cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in Alberta. LaGrange stated that this level of activity is consistent for this time of year.

LaGrange provided an update on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the province. Between August 28 and September 8, there were 92 new hospitalizations and three ICU admissions related to COVID-19. This brings the total number of hospitalizations to 417 and ICU admissions to seven, representing a 73% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations compared to the previous reported data.

Unfortunately, five Albertans died due to COVID-19 during this period. LaGrange mentioned that the reporting dashboard will be refreshed to include RSV, influenza, and COVID-19 data. The new dashboard is expected to be available in the coming weeks, providing up-to-date information on these respiratory viruses.

Despite the increase in hospitalizations and outbreaks, LaGrange did not mention any reinstatement of masking requirements at Alberta hospitals. She stressed the importance of collective responsibility in preventing the spread of airborne viruses like COVID-19 and influenza.

As a mother and grandmother herself, LaGrange expressed understanding of the anxiety parents may feel when sending their children back to school. She reassured Albertans that the government has the health and well-being of all young Albertans as a top priority.

– Global News
– Health Canada

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