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Kelowna  

Flu shot still effective

In spite of concerns that this year's flu vaccine may not be as effective as years past, B.C. health officials are urging those most at risk, children, the elderly and those already in poor health, to get the shot.
 
The influenza season in Canada is shaping up to be a potentially nasty one, with a mixed bag of viruses already circulating in much of the country, according to infectious diseases experts.

Those same experts also say this year's flu shot may not be all that effective in preventing the respiratory illness.

Dr. Karin Goodison, Medical Health Officer, Interior Health indicates
this time of year, Interior Health is seeing increasing influenza activity in the Interior and throughout BC.

Goodison says, "the flu shot is the best protection against influenza. This year’s influenza vaccine is slightly different from last year’s vaccine and will protect against influenza: A/H3N2, A/H1N1, and either one or two strains of influenza B depending on which vaccine you receive (trivalent or quadrivalent). In the Interior, we are seeing predominantly H3N2, but recently we have also seen a significant amount of Influenza B. Across BC, we are also seeing some cases of A/H1N1. The overall effectiveness of the vaccine is good (between 50-70 percent)."
 
Vaccinations are free for people with risk factors for complications (people who are very young, older adults and people with chronic diseases) and we are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.
 
The best ways to help protect yourself and those around you from Influenza are to:
Get the flu shot.

  • Get the flu shot.
  • Wash your hands frequently throughout the day, especially after coughing and sneezing.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

The flu shot is available at many doctor’s offices, pharmacies and walk-in clinics. For more information, visit immunizebc.ca.



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