With the fall of the temperature, Alberta prepares for the flu season

Albertans will start receiving the flu shot in a few weeks. The province has announced that public influenza vaccine clinics will open on 15 October.

The province wants to see an increase of the 1.2 million inhabitants of Alberta who received an immunization last season.

"Being immunized provides the best protection against influenza," said health minister Sarah Hoffman. "With seniors, young children and Albertans with very sensitive immunity, I encourage everyone to get the flu vaccine to not only protect yourself, but also others who are at risk of becoming ill."

READ MORE: Flu shots available in Alberta from October 23; AHS without nasal spray

Pharmacists can now offer the flu shot to people five years and older; formerly, pharmacists were not allowed to give the shot to Albertans who was nine years or younger.

Albertans six months and older can get a free influenza vaccine again.

"It's important even for mature Albertans to get their annual flu shot," said Deputy Medical Officer of Health Kristin Klein. "When people are being immunized, they protect not only themselves, but also those around them who may be more vulnerable, such as seniors, young children, pregnant women and people with existing health problems."

Alberta Health Services recommends that children under the age of nine who receive a flu vaccine receive two doses of vaccine for the first time.

READ MORE: What happens to your body when you get flu, step by step

There were 92 deaths with confirmed flu during the 2017-18 flu season, according to AHS.

AHS reported last year's total of 1.2 million Albertans who received a flu shot, a 2 percent increase over the previous year.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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