Table of contents

Get immunized

Albertans 6 months of age and older

All Albertans 6 months of age and older can get the current 4-strain influenza vaccine free of charge by appointment and/or walk-in (depending on the provider) at:

  • Pharmacies for people 5 years old or older
  • Some community medical clinics will provide immunizations to children 6 months of age or older. Call your clinic to find out more.
  • Alberta Health Services (AHS) public health clinics:
    • for children under 5, their parents and household members
    • for people without a provincial health care number
    • where there is no other immunizing health-care provider

Read the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s letter to parents and guardians.

Albertans 65 and over

Alberta residents aged 65 and older will have access to a high-dose vaccine free of charge.

  • If they are mobile, seniors can book appointments at their local pharmacy or community medical clinic
  • If they need assistance, seniors can call Health Link at 811.

How to book

Book online or call 811. Albertans 5 years of age or over are encouraged to receive their influenza vaccine at a pharmacy.

  • Many pharmacies are also accepting walk-in appointments. If your local pharmacy is not listed in the booking system, contact them directly or find a pharmacy near you.
  • Some community medical clinics are also offering influenza vaccine and can be contacted directly.
  • COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, may be offered to individuals 5 years of age and older with each influenza vaccine appointment booked. In most cases, a separate COVID-19 vaccine appointment is not needed. We recommend confirming at the time of your influenza appointment if you can receive both vaccines.
  • Arrive as close to the appointment time as you can.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Staff and volunteers at clinics and venues offering influenza immunization must follow their employers' masking policies and may require you to wear a mask.

Prevent the spread of influenza

The best ways to prevent seasonal influenza is by:

  • getting the influenza vaccine every year because the virus changes each year
  • washing your hands often
  • staying home when sick
  • cleaning and disinfecting surfaces frequently
  • maintaining good respiratory etiquette (for example, cover your cough, sneeze into a bent elbow, wear a mask if symptomatic) 
  • avoiding or limiting time spent in crowded indoor places
  • minimizing close contact with anyone showing cold-like symptoms
  • wearing a mask can help reduce your risk of becoming sick and help protect others from being exposed. Individuals should be supported regardless of their choice to mask or not.

Antibiotics do not work against the influenza virus or any other virus. Antiviral medications may be used for treatment or prevention of influenza.

Vaccine effectiveness

Vaccine effectiveness varies from year to year but immunization is still the best protection. The effectiveness of the current vaccine is not known when the immunization program begins but is determined as the season progresses.

Read more about immunization

Influenza immunization during COVID-19

The influenza vaccine won’t prevent COVID-19, but it will reduce your chances of getting sick with influenza. By keeping influenza counts low we can make sure our health-care system has capacity to respond to treating people with other illnesses and injuries.

Immunization rates and influenza cases

View Alberta seasonal influenza statistics

Alberta influenza facts

The Alberta government purchased 1.9 million doses of influenza vaccine for the 2022-23 season.

In 2021-22, the Alberta government purchased 2.1 million doses of influenza vaccine:

  • 27% of Albertans (roughly 1.2 million people) received the influenza vaccine
  • 2,906 lab-confirmed influenza cases, 523 hospitalizations and 14 deaths (in hospital) among people with lab-confirmed influenza

Alberta has offered universal influenza immunization free of charge since 2009. Before 2009, the program targeted those most at risk of disease and complications.

Yearly influenza immunization rates

Every year we encourage Albertans to get immunized.

  • 2021 to 2022 – 27%
  • 2020 to 2021 – 37%
  • 2019 to 2020 – 33%
  • 2018 to 2019 – 31%
  • 2017 to 2018 – 29%
  • 2016 to 2017 – 27%
  • 2015 to 2016 – 27%
  • 2014 to 2015 – 30%
  • 2013 to 2014 – 27.6%
  • 2012 to 2013 – 23%
  • 2011 to 2012 – 22.5%
  • 2010 to 2011 – 22%

Influenza surveillance

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