Time to get shot - Flu clinics to begin
Oct 22, 2013 / 5:00 am
Public health nurses throughout the Interior Health region are gearing up for this year's flue season.
In 2012, 173,000 seasonal flu vaccinations were provided free of charge to those at risk of complications from the flu.
Interior Health Medical Health Officer, Dr. Rob Parker, says yearly flu vaccinations are determined by the World Health Organization based of worldwide flue trends.
"This year's vaccination contains three different flu strains that will offer protection against two influenza A viruses and one influenza B virus," says Dr. Parker.
"Getting a flue shot and washing your hands frequently are the two most effective ways to protect yourself and others from getting the flu."
The flu is highly contagious and can cause severe complications for those with heart, lung and other health problems.
Even if you don't become severely ill, getting the flue can mean several missed days of school, work and other activities.
Flu clinics within the Interior Health region are scheduled to begin in November.
Click here for a list of dates and times of clinics in your area.
Parker says flu shots are safe, effective and free for those most at risk of getting the flu and its complications, including:
- People 65 years and older and their caregivers/household contacts
- People of any age in residential care facilities
- Children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts
- Children & adolescents (6 months to 18 years) with conditions treated for long periods of time with Acetylsalicylic Acid (Aspirin/ ASA) and their household contacts.
- Children & adults who are very obese
- Aboriginal people
- All children 6-59 months of age
- Household contacts and caregivers of infants and children 0-59 months of age
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy during the influenza season and their household contacts
- Visitors to hospitals, health centres and residential care facilities
- People who work with live poultry
- Health care and other care providers in facilities and community settings who are capable of transmitting influenza disease to those at high risk of influenza complications
- Individuals who provide care or service in potential outbreak settings housing high risk persons (e.g., crew on ships)
- People who provide essential community services (First Responders, Corrections Workers)
- Inmates of provincial correctional institutions
People not eligible for free flu vaccine through the publicly-funded program should contact their physician, local pharmacy, walk-in clinic, travel clinic or private provider.
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