Are Flu Shots Free At Pharmacies In Alberta?

You may already know that public AHS clinics and doctors provide flu shots for free, provided by tax payer funding, but what about pharmacies?

Are Flu shots free at pharmacies in Alberta? Yes, the flu shot is free at pharmacies in Alberta. Most pharmacies and other approved private clinics offer a free shot for all eligible ages, as they are paid by the government.

Many private pharmacies allow walk-ins for a free flu shot, whereas publicly offered flu shots will require an appointment. You can make an appointment by phone or online.

Some controversy exist as to if the word “free” is appropriate, or even legal to use in this context. While there is no charge to you, the person receiving immunization, the pharmacy is not necessarily providing a free product. They receive payment from the Provincial government of Alberta.

An interesting article about using the word “free” when talking about immunization shots from the Alberta College of Pharmacy.

Are Flu Shots Free For Seniors in Alberta?

Generally speaking, flu shots are free and publicly funded for all eligible ages. However, there was a period of time in 2021 when a shortage existed of flu vaccines made uniquely for seniors over 65. The special type of flu shot was rationed by providing the free shot to seniors aged 65 and older who were in long care facilities, while any other senior had to pay $75.

As of time of writing this article (2022) the issue has been resolved and all the shots have returned to being free.


Is There A Stronger Flu Shot For Seniors In Canada?

Yes, there is a stronger high dose flu shot with a special formulation for seniors over the age of 65 called the Fluzone High Dose Vaccine. It is different from the regular flu vaccine, as it is designed to assist with the fact that seniors have weaker immune systems and need a higher dose.

In Summary

  • All eligible ages of Albertans can receive a free flu shot regardless of whether at a public clinic, pharmacy or other private approved clinic.
  • Some special temporary circumstances could arrive in times of short supply, but they are mostly no direct cost to you.