B.C. rolls out 2017 flu shots

Provincial health officer urges people to get their vaccine early

The flu vaccine is now available at clinics and pharmacies across B.C., and the province is urging people to get theirs early.

“The flu is a highly contagious disease from which people can take actions to protect themselves,” said provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall in a release issued Wednesday.

“Getting your flu shot early and washing your hands frequently can help protect yourself, and others, from contracting and spreading the flu.”

While most people will have to pay to get their flu shot, it’s free for the following people:

  • children between six months and five years old;
  • seniors 65 and older
  • pregnant women
  • Indigenous people
  • people with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems
  • anyone who lives with any of these people
  • visitors to long-term care facilities and hospitals

In 2014, a particularly virulent strain of the H1N1 flu virus caused shortages in the flu vaccine.

The health ministry said it did not anticipate any such shortages this year.

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, 1.53 million doses of the vaccine have been purchased so far for the 2017/18 season.

The purchase amounts are based on the orders submitted by each health authority in the province.

That’s up slightly from the 1.47 million doses purchased last winter. During the H1N1 flu season in 2014, a record 1.4 million flu shots were dispensed.

The CDC said there have been slightly more flu-like illnesses reported in the past two weeks than is normal for this time of year.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

WATCH: Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 in Chilliwack trying to flee police

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Drugs and guns seized by Chilliwack Mounties in complex case

Drug trafficking investigations led to five arrests in three different locations across Chilliwack

Chilliwack RCMP trying to catch robbery suspect

Police hope someone will identify the person who appears in security camera footage

LETTER: Why is Jati Sidhu ashamed of his riding?

Lytton’s Christopher di Armani shares his dismay at the potential name change of the MP’s riding

Chilliwack churns out new generation of wildfire fighters

School district partners with B.C. Wildfire Service to prep Grade 12s for careers

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Vancouver-bound transit bus involved in fatal crash near Seattle

One man was killed and a woman injured in crash with bus purchased by TransLink

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read