Children and families are next in line to receive their H1N1 vaccinations starting Friday, according to the provincial government.

Alberta’s H1N1 immunization program will expand to include all children under 18 years old as of Nov. 1, as well as their immediate family members and caregivers living in the same household.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Andre Corriveau, expects the province to expand the immunizations even further next week.

“We expect to be able to open it up more broadly to the general public at some point next week,” he said, adding the stability of the vaccine supply has strengthened.

The province expects to have 500,000 doses of the vaccine on hand by Friday, and Corriveau says they have already immunized almost 600,000 Albertans.

“We need to reach about two-thirds before we start to notice the effectiveness ... It’s critical in terms of the size of our third wave in Alberta and across Canada.”

Arrangements are being made to offer the vaccine through family doctors, pharmacies and large employers who have experience with immunization programs in the “coming weeks,” Corriveau added.

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