10/27/2012 06:52 EDT | Updated 12/27/2012 05:12 EST

Flu Shot Clinics Open In Alberta, Manitoba, But Not Saskatchewan

Barbara Goldberger receives her flu shot from the Methodist Hospice booth at the 11th annual Jewish Family Service Senior Resource Fair held at the Memphis Botanical Garden in Memphis, Tenn. Thursday Oct. 25, 2012. All proceeds from the Senior Resource Fair are designated towards senior care needs provided by Jewish Family Service including prescription drug assistance, home-delivered meals, and transportation. (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Kyle Kurlick)

EDMONTON - Clinics for influenza shots are continuing across much of the Prairies, even though they've been suspended in Saskatchewan due to a concern about vaccines made by Novartis.

The Manitoba government says only about one per cent of its vaccine supply is Agriflu, which is one of the two Novartis products in question.

It says it doesn't have any Fluad, which is the other vaccine.

The Alberta government says Agriflu comprises only about 22 per cent of its total vaccine supply.

Health Canada has suspended distribution of the affected vaccines after word the Italian company that makes them found tiny clumps of virus particles in some batches.

Officials in Alberta and Manitoba say they have advised health providers to stop using the affected vaccines, but that flu shots will continue with other vaccines.

"It's important that Albertans continue to get the flu shot," said Alberta's health minister, Fred Horne, in a news release Saturday.

"Getting the flu shot is the most effective way for everyone to prevent illness and protect families and communities."

Saskatchewan says its flu vaccination program will resume once a Health Canada review of the situation has been completed.

The company says more than one million doses of its flu vaccines have been administered in Europe so far this season and no unexpected adverse events have been reported. It says people who have received Novartis flu shots are not at risk.

Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, said anyone in the province who got one of the shots shouldn't be concerned.

Shahab said the decision to suspend clinics was a "precautionary measure."

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