WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government is launching an influenza immunization program on Thursday.

CTV News Winnipeg previously reported that health officials said it is vital for Manitobans to get the flu shot this year.

Roussin said that during respiratory virus season, there is already a strain on Manitoba’s healthcare system. He noted the province doesn’t know what to expect during the first-ever combined flu and COVID-19 season, which is why it’s important for people to get the flu shot.

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"We need to have a very robust uptake to the flu shot and we need to keep doing what we can to limit the impacts of COVID because we know it can be a very challenging time for our health care system," he said.

The province is also preparing for more people to get the flu shot this year, as it doubled its order for the high-dose influenza vaccine.

- With files from CTV’s Mason DePatie.