Alberta Health Services kicks off flu immunization

Alberta Health Services is trying to get more people to get their flu shot.
Alberta Health Services is kicking off its influenza immunization campaign today. 2:00

Alberta Health Services is trying to get more people to get their flu shot.

The province is kicking off its immunization campaign today.

Health officials say young children under the age of two, along with seniors, face the highest risk of developing complications caused by influenza.

Bill Peters says he gets a flu shot every year. 

Peters wife, Lorna, is in poor health and often spends time at the Foothills hospital.

He hopes those treating her, are also choosing to get the immunization.

"They're in contact with people that are probably not as good as they should be health-wise or else they wouldn't be in there, maybe more susceptible to picking up the flus that are around," Peters said.

 In BC, it’s mandatory for health care workers to get the flu shot, but not everyone here supports the move.

Brent Davidson, a MS patient, says health care workers have the right to choose.

"The nurses I deal with use a lot of antiseptic wipes and keep their phones clean so they don't get the flu and they don't get flu shots and I rarely see any of my nurses or doctors that are ill," said Davidson.

Cheryle Nielsen says she always chooses to have the immunization, to protect herself, and her loved ones.

"I have grandchildren and if I got the flu, I wouldn't want to pass it on to them, so I get the flu shot. My husband has been very ill and I don't want to pass on anything to him if I didn't get the shot," Nielson said.

Every year, between 2,000 and 8,000 Canadians die of the flu and the complications caused by the respiratory infection.

The number of Albertans getting their flu shot has increased over the years.

In 2011, 959,345 received a shot, compared to 763,159 in 2008.

AHS will run drop-in clinics in various parts of the province including Calgary and Edmonton.