With flu season approaching, the government is urging Albertans to get immunized.
Influenza immunization clinics open around the province on October 23, offering ample time to get the shot.
This year, Alberta Health Services (AHS) is offering a version of the vaccine that has two forms of Influenza A and Influenza B as well as the Michigan strain of H1N1, instead of the usual California strain.
Everyone six months and older are eligible for the free shot, including at Abex Pharmacy in Fort Saskatchewan.
"You can get the flu from direct and indirect ways," explained Abex Pharmacy owner Dalia El Sayed. "Direct if somebody coughs or sneezes close to you and indirect because the influenza A and B viruses survive up to two days on hard surfaces and up to 12 hours on clothes and paper and tissues."
AHS is urging Albertans to get immunized as early in the season as possible to reduce the risk of illness.
"The flu vaccine that's going to be available this year is actually an inactive [version], it's not causing the flu, it's just challenging your immune system to produce the antibodies against the virus."
It usually takes the human body about two weeks to build up those antibodies.
The shot is available until March 31.

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