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Longer waits anticipated for this year's flu shot

Last Updated Oct 20, 2020 at 6:36 am MST

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Flu shots are now available across Alberta but if you haven’t made an appointment, you could be waiting several weeks to get into a pharmacy.

The General Manager of Pharmacies at London Drugs, Chris Chiew, says the wait for an appointment is currently two to four weeks.

He said the most convenient way to book is by going online but you can also try calling the pharmacy.

“Our phones are actually ringing off the hook right now. If people were to call right now, they might experience a longer than average wait time to try to get through and ask about the flu vaccine.”

Chiew added if you want to get in earlier, you can check the London Drugs website frequently to see if there are any cancellations.

WATCH: Health experts expecting busy flu shot season amid COVID-19 pandemic

Alberta Health has ordered nearly two million doses of the vaccine this year, more than previous years.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw is encouraging Albertans to get immunized this year to avoid contracting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.

Some pharmacies anticipate more people will be lining up to get the flu shot with Shoppers Drug Mart showing a 57 per cent interest, up from 40 per cent the year before.

Chiew said pharmacists will be ready to respond to the increase in demand and continue to follow health protocols.

“What we’re doing is actually one injection every 10 minutes and what that allows us to do is to clean in between each patient and make sure our rooms are clean before they walk in.”

Last year, Alberta Health Services (AHS) reported over 1.4 million Albertans were vaccinated between Oct. 2019 and May 2020.