It is the final three days for Alberta Health Services' flu dedicated influenza immunization clinics.

Shots are free to all Albertans over six months of age.

Health officials say that the influenza virus and the vaccine changes each year so people should get immunized annually.

Influenza causes about 20,000 hospitalizations and about 4,000 deaths in Canada each year.

Pregnant women, children under 59 months, people over 65 and those with chronic health conditions are at higher risk of developing complications from the flu.

The best time for immunization is in October and November as the most cases of influenza occur during the winter months.

The AHS says research shows that the vaccine can reduce:

  • Complications in people that are high risk
  • Pneumonia, hospital admissions and deaths in the elderly
  • The number of physician visits, hospital admissions and deaths in high risk
    people 18 to 64 years of age

The vaccine takes about two weeks to kick in and can prevent influenza in 70 to 90 percent of healthy adults and children.

The vaccine is also available through many family doctors and outpatient clinics throughout the province.

For the first time, a nasal spray vaccine will also be available for children between two and 17 years old.

Alberta Health Services is advising people to bring their Alberta Heath Care card and to wear a short sleeve shirt.

Clinics will be set up at the following locations in Calgary:

  • Avenida Village: Suite 303, 12445 Lake Fraser Dr. S.E.
  • Brentwood Village Mall: Suite 302, 3630 Brentwood Rd. N.W.
  • CUPS: Suite 1001 10 Ave. S.W.
  • Northgate: Suite A154, 495 36 St. N.E.
  • Richmond Road Diagnostic Centre: Suite 1820, Richmond Rd. S.W.
  • South Calgary Health Centre: Suite 31, Sunpark Plaza S.E.

The AHS has also set up a clinic schedule online where patients can check for locations and clinic hours.

For more information on Influenza Immunization, visit the Alberta Health Services website.