Harrison receives his flu shot from nurse Karyn Jacob while his mom, Jacqueline Blackwell, looks on. (Fraser Health)

Don’t go viral: Lower Mainland health officials urge public to get flu shot

Vaccines are free for young kid, the elderly and those in contact with at-risk populations

Two Lower Mainland health authorities are teaming up to make sure everyone in the region gets the flu shot this fall.

In a Monday news release, Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health said getting a flu shot could protect people with compromised immune systems.

“This is one of those times when ‘going viral’ is not cool,” said Dr. Aamir Bharmal, medical health officer for Fraser Health. “Instead, help protect vulnerable members of our communities including infants, young children, pregnant women, and people with underlying health conditions, by getting your flu shot.”

Vancouver Coastal Health medical health officer Dr. Meena Dawar said getting the flu might not be a big deal for most people, but young kids, pregnant women, the elderly and anyone with a compromised immune system could end up seriously ill, in the hospital, or worse.

Everyone six months of age or older is encouraged to get the vaccine. The shots are free for kids five and under, seniors 65 years old and older, pregnant women, Indigenous people, and people with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems. Those who work or live with others who are more at risk and visitors to health care facilities can also get a free vaccine.

As of Dec. 1, any visitor to a Vancouver Coastal Health or Fraser Health facility will need to wear a mask if they have not gotten the flu shot. The nasal mist version of the vaccine is not available in Canada this year.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know before getting the flu shot


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