10/21/2013 03:22 EDT | Updated 10/21/2013 06:09 EDT

Alberta Free Flu Shots Being Offered This Season

young man blowing his nose

Albertans are being encouraged to take advantage of free flu shots being offered across the province starting this week.

Starting Oct. 21 the free vaccine will be offered at public immunization clinics as well as some pharmacies and physician offices.

All Albertans over the age of six months are eligible for the shot and a nasal spray vaccine is also available for children.

In Calgary the following four locations have been set up for drop-ins and are open from 11 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Monday to Saturday until late December:

- Brentwood Village Mall at 3630 Brentwood Rd. N.W.

- Northgate at 495 36 St. N.E.

- Richmond Road Diagnostic Treatment Centre at 1820 Richmond Rd. S.W.

- South Calgary Health Centre at 31 Sunpark Plaza S.E.

In Edmonton, the following eight locations have been set up for drop-ins and are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday until late November, with several also holding weekend hours:

- Riverbend Square at 596 Riverbend Square N.W.

- Seventh Street Plaza at 10030 107 Street

- Westmount Mall at 13336 114 Avenue

- Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre at 8330 82 Avenue S.

- East Edmonton Health Centre at 7910 112 Avenue

- Mayfield Common at 268 Mayfield Common

- Millbourne Market Mall at 7609 38 Avenue

- Northgate Health Centre at 9499 137 Avenue

According to Alberta Health Services, the flu (also known as influenza) can strike at any time of year but is most prevalent during the winter months.

The most common symptoms of influenza are high fever, cough, headache, muscle aches loss of appetite and fatigue. Bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, can also form and the flu can lead to death, especially in the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions.

The flu is passed from person to person through coughing and sneezing, but frequent hand washing can help cut down on the spread of infection.

For more information on the flu and where you can find vaccines across the province, visit the AHS website.

Also on HuffPost