Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Alberta rolls out H1N1 vaccine Oct. 26

EDMONTON — With the second wave of H1N1 having officially arrived in Alberta this week, nurses at mass immunization clinics will be giving out swine flu vaccinations starting Monday, two weeks earlier than first anticipated.

Flu clusters — of both the H1N1 and seasonal strains — have broken out in 25 schools across the province, with rates of absenteeism climbing above 10 per cent in the last week. Some schools reported days when close to 30 per cent of the students stayed home sick.

Hospitalizations have also slightly risen, although numbers fluctuate daily. To date, 160 Albertans suffering from severe symptoms have been admitted to hospital since the swine flu first hit in the spring. MORE

Cheapest drugs in Canada

Albertans will pay approximately 30 per cent less for their generic drugs under the province's new pharmaceutical plan, which is intended to bring costs down while compensating pharmacists for doing work beyond dispensing pills.

Under the plan, prices for new generic drugs--about 15 to 20 are approved each year in Alberta-- will immediately be reduced to 45 per cent of brand-name drug prices, down from the current 75 per cent people pay.

Prices for all existing generic drugs will be reduced in April 2010, eventually saving the province an estimated $100 million each year and putting $100 million more into the pockets of Albertans. MORE

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