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Flu shots now available in Alberta

A patient receives a vaccine for influenza. (CREDIT: Pixabay)

It’s time to roll up your sleeves.

Flu shot clinics open across the province Monday, and it may be worth facing your fear of needles.

Calgary’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Judy MacDonald said getting the shot greatly reduces your chances of getting the flu, even if many of us don’t seem to think it’s worth it.

“The number of doses that have been purchased by the ministry of Health is enough to cover 35 per cent of our population and I’d be ecstatic if we were able to reach that target,” she said, adding they usually see below 30 per cent.

It’s hard to say how bad Alberta’s influenza season will be, as the strain of flu circulating around the globe changes every year.

But if Australia’s season is any indication, the illness could hit hard.

“Even for healthy people, it’s possible that they’ll have a course of influenza that may land them in the hospital or even worse,” Dr. MacDonald said.

The shot is available free of charge to everyone six months of age or older.

There are four clinics in Calgary: Brentwood Village Mall, Northgate, the Richmond Road Diagnostic Treatment Centre and the South Calgary Health Centre.

You can also get the shot at your doctor’s office or pharmacy.