Calgary has seen more than 200 cases of influenza so far this season, AHS says

Though cases of the flu have begun to pile up across the province, Alberta Health Services says it isn't too late for Albertans to receive their flu shots.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi joined that effort on Wednesday, receiving his vaccine at a downtown pharmacy.

"I'm a little late getting my flu shot this year, but I want to encourage everyone to do it. Especially if you spend a lot of time with other people, if you time with seniors or children," Nenshi said. "It's important not just for your own health, it's important for everybody's health."

According to the latest weekly report released by AHS, 138 cases of influenza A and 78 cases of influenza B have been recorded by health officials so far this season. Edmonton has seen 89 cases of influenza A and 25 cases of influenza B.

The flu shot protects against four different groups of influenza viruses each year, including A and B.

Canadians are typically affected by the flu between November and April, according to AHS, though it is possible to catch it at any time. 

The Alberta government purchased 1.6 million doses of vaccine for this season, according to AHS. That's enough to immunize 35 per cent of the population. 

Last year, approximately 31 per cent of Albertans – or approximately 1.2 million residents – received the vaccine. That was up from 29 per cent a year prior.

Flu shots are free for all Albertans over six months old and are available at doctors' offices, clinics and pharmacies.