'Tis the season: province launches flu shot campaign

The 2016 influenza immunization campaign is officially here.

Health minister encourages everybody to get one

You can get this year's flu shot soon, the province announced Friday. (Tony Talbot/AP)

It's that time of year again: flu shots will soon be available for free to all Manitobans.

The province announced the launch of the 2016 influenza immunization campaign on Friday, and is urging all Manitobans to get their shot.

"Getting immunized protects the person who received the vaccine, but it is also key in the prevention of serious illnesses for those unable to receive the influenza vaccine, like newborns," said Kelvin Goertzen, minister of health, seniors and active living.

This year's shot is a quadrivalent vaccine, protecting Manitobans against four different strains of flu, the province said in a press release.

The flu can be spread from one person to another through coughing, sneezing or touching contaminated objects then touching your mouth, eyes or nose. You can reduce risk further by covering coughs and sneezes and washing your hands regularly, the province said.

The shot is especially important for some groups, including people at increased risk of serious illness from the flu, along with their caregivers and close contacts.

Manitobans over 65 are encouraged to get a pneumococcal vaccine as well, while people under aged two to 17 are eligible to receive their shot in the form of a nasal spray.